Friday, November 18, 2016

carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #19 Teika's 7th Tanka Writing Technique "clever treatment" (prompt: fragile beauty)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at this new episode of our Tanka Splendor month. I know I am a bit late, but I am on the nightshift so time isn't at my side the upcoming days. This month it is all about tanka and how to create them. Through the ten Tanka Writing Techniques by Teika I hope to inspire you all to create tanka or to improve your skills in writing tanka.

Today I will introduce to you Teika's 7th Tanka Writing Technique "clever treatment".

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:
niwa no yuki ni / waga ato tsukete / idetsuru o / towarenikeri to / hito ya miruran

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.

Koya San monastery in the snow - only women were allowed to enter this monastery

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

What an awesome technique this is. I hope I have inspired you.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 23rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Chrysanthemums, later on. 

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