Winter Winds

Written for:  dVerse Poets-Meeting The Bar:  Form-Tanka  (posted by Hayes-Spencer)

They have a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count, per line. The first two lines of the tanka are known as the kami-no-ku – upper poem, the last two lines are the shimo-no-ku – lower poem. The third line. middle line, is the kireji or, cutting line or pivot denoting the difference between the two parts. This is important to remember when writing tanka. There are also no uppercase letters, no punctuation (except for the short dash, like an aspirated breath) or title.

Tanka are subjective and can be emotional, opinionated, sensual, and lyrical. They move back and forth through time and use elegant phrases or euphemisms, simile and metaphor. They are considered a “female” while haiku are “male”. The word tanka means “short song”. Many times before battle, Samurai would write a death poem (jisei) to leave behind. Often these poems were tanka.

winter winds blow chill
through my heart while you are gone
fear for your safety
in terrible times of war
where flowers no longer grow

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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20 Responses to Winter Winds

  1. Imelda says:

    The emotion here is quite strong. I feel the fear and worry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so touching ❤ The image of ‘where flowers no longer grow’ is striking!


  4. This one reminds me of that old song: where have all the flowers gone…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. lillian says:

    A palpable sense of the missing and longing here — and the emptiness where the flowers do not grow. Stunning tanka.


  6. Julian says:

    Love the lyrical feel to this, and love to see it worked into song with maybe acoustic / piano accompaniment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bodhirose says:

    You paint a stark picture with your words…the feeling is as cold as that winter wind…well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anita Lubesh says:

    A beautiful original theme and a lyrical lilt woven with winter’s woes and those of war.


  9. Grace says:

    such deep sadness when flowers no longer grow!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reminds me how much a
    sliver of heaven this
    really is for a place
    now.. so long
    for wars
    soils of home..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pulls at the heartstrings. Poignant and evocative. Wonderful word artistry, replete with powerful emotions.


  12. With so much uncertainties one is faced with lots of risks even in peacetime let alone in the war zone. There is cause for concern! Truly so Sara!


    Liked by 1 person

  13. kanzensakura says:

    Wonderful tanka. I really enjoyed this wind chill moment and the flowers not growing on a war field. Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

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