Tankas

Tanka poetry is a Japanese 31-syllable, five line poem and when translated, ‘Tanka’ means, short song. It's somewhat the older sibling of the haiku, taller and a little more difficult. The haiku runs 5-7-5 whilst the Tanka adds too more lines with a double ‘7’ syllable count making it 5-7-5-7-7. Although they used to be more restricted to self awareness, love etc, in the modern day Tankas are written about anything and everything.

5

7

5

7

7

If you've already done tankas and want something new, without going too much into metre, the original metre is better captured by the count 4/5/3/5/5.

Other alternatives are Tanka Strings and Tanka Prose. Tanka Strings are consecutive tankas linked together by theme and can be written alone or between multiple people. Tanka Strings were common amongst lovers.

Tanka Prose on the other hand is quite simply a segment of prose followed by a tanka for any desired length. The tankas are again linked by theme.


As always you can even go as far as creating a sub genre for tankas, the world is yours! Enjoy