Tiny Holes

Written for:  Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #19, Teika’s 7th Tanka Writing Technique
“clever treatment” (prompt:  fragile beauty)

Clever treatment, a witty or ingenious treatment of a conventional topic

The style must have been popular because Teika gave 31 poems in his anthology of style examples. This one is by the Archbishop Jien (1155-1225) on the topic of “snow” from the Shinkokinshū, #6:679:

in the snow only
I was in the garden
leaving footprints
will people think someone brought
comfort to my loneliness?

As you can read in the above tanka (or waka) the poet brings a scene of someone in a garden covered with snow, but in that scene he just mentioned the ordinary way of walking through the snow and what kind of feeling it gives. I think the tanka shows you how important the ordinary snow can be to create a sophisticated scene.

In this tanka you can feel the loneliness in a very strong way. With the prompt “fragile beauty” I think we can create a tanka with this technique.

hands full of snow
the Great Buddha still smiles
with compassion
an old beggar and his bowl
bows in honor sharing his bread

© Chèvrefeuille (our host)

Here is my attempt:

bird beaks dipped in snow
pecking furiously
tiny holes appear
black dots where the eager birds
have taken their buried crumbs



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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