Monday, February 15, 2010

Tanka Poetry and Haibun

I'm a book junkie and a reading glutton.  Someone convinced me long ago we are our own teachers, and being a student is a mindset of continually asking and seeking rather than an actual diploma (thanks, Mrs. Devenen! your history class figured largely into my world view now that the memory of your wonderful Asides mortar so many of my perspectives together)

We're considering nixing our internet and our phone and going just to the library for emails/blogging and just to our cell phone rather than a land line.  How shall I get by without my beloved internet searches when the questions hit??  Ack!

I suppose like everyone else in the world did only a few decades ago before Google reigned supreme :)

Anyway, I'm having fun schlepping my college-ruled notebook around with me and scratching out some lines as they come to mind.  Back a few years ago when I was single, on those too-long weekends when my daughter was away at her father's, I'd indulge in nurturing times with a quiet setting, pen and paper, and pots of hot tea.  It was then I began writing Tanka poetry...another thing I'd likely never have discovered without the internet.  Tanka poetry is similar to haiku, but with a pattern of 5/7/5/7/7...and somehow that seems to work for me.  It allows some relection on a subject or emotion (anything, really) but distills it down to a form that is easy to record and then revisit (i.e. polish up a bit), resulting in some nice verbal snapshots easily tucked away.  I love poetry, but am sometimes awkward writing it.  Tanka, though, comes more easily and incorporates a lot of images from nature into its language.  It's an old traditional form of poetry from Japan, and tankas were written after special occasions or other life landmarks.  I like the modern twist that records everyday events as snapshots to be returned to.

Today I happened on another writing form called the Haibun, which incorporates segments of prose interspersed with haiku.  After reading several different ones, its flexibility really excites me...any subject, incorporating any sort of writing style, very are a few.

I'm going to jump in and mix it up a bit as the growing year here begins to thaw a bit...time to stretch those ol' writing kinks out :)

Language and the ordinary things.  It's the everday that continues to sustain me with the extraordinary.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I love Haiku. It's one of my favorite poetry forms - for its complex simplicity.

I think I would be lost without my home Internet connection. That said, however, I think I would probably get a lot more done during the day if I didn't have it to distract me ;).