Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tanka Shrine #1, "Small footprints" by Marika Kitakubo

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to introduce a new monthly feature at our Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. As you maybe know next to haiku, Tanka is one of the most beloved poetry-forms of the Japanese range of poetry. So I love to start a feature in which I will share a Tanka of a wellknown Tanka-poet ... the goal is, as it is at the Carpe Diem Specials, to write a Tanka in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one I gave.

Tanka has also a classical syllables-count similar with the Tan Renga, of course Tanka is written by one poet and not by two as is the Tan Renga, the syllables count is: 5-7-5-7-7 ... it's up to you to feel free to use that syllables structure or not.

This month's Tanka is written by:

Banner Mariko Kitakubo

fine snow
of New Year's Day,
small footprints
lead to grandma's gate
before the shrine

Mariko Kitakubo, tanka-poet

She says about her poems:

“In my own composition of poems, I wish to pursue things that can only be achieved with Tanka poems amid this rapidly changing society”.
Excerpt from View of the Month in “Tanka Orai” August 2003.

While composing poems is the primary thing to do, I want to continue expressive activities by means of reading performances in and out of the country. I feel it meaningful to vibrate Japanese traditional rhythm sounds, consisting of units of 5 and 7 syllables, in front of Tanka lovers whose native language is not Japanese.

A wonderful tanka, composed by a wonderful Tanka-poet. Visit her website by clicking the caption under her photo.

Now ... it's up to you my dear friends to write a Tanka inspired on the one by Mariko ... have fun, be inspired and share your Tanka with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This first episode of Carpe Diem's Tanka Shrine will stay on 'till November 23th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will try to post a new episode on that same day. By the way: I wasn't inspired enough to write a response on this Tanka, but I will sure give it a try and share it with you all.


  1. Wonderful challenge.. this was a great tanka to work with.. I really had to think about it.

  2. Inspired by her work. Thanks Kristjaan for sharing her beauty

  3. What a beautiful Tanka Kristjaan:-)Thank you-hopefully I can come up with something nice in the same spirit:-)

  4. almost did not make this - had to work really hard but enjoyed the challenge. thank you for sharing Mariko's lovely Tanka