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
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
an old beggar and his bowl
bows in honor sharing his bread
© Chèvrefeuille (our host)
Here is my attempt:
bird beaks dipped in snow
tiny holes appear
black dots where the eager birds
have taken their buried crumbs