About Tanka

Tanka is a form of poetry that is practiced widely in Japan.  There is a lot of debate about what constitutes a ‘tanka’ poem. To me it is a poem with five lines (or “phrases”) that is grounded in a concrete moment and connects with the reader in some emotional way.  

Most Westerners are familiar with haiku, but the tanka form in Japan is actually much older. I write very little haiku because I prefer the freedom of expression that is possible in the tanka form. I hope you enjoy my poems.


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