Tanka: The Poet’s Craft

lr-1070624 ww

listening, feeling
words will land on the page
the way God intended

ยฉ Xenia Tran

blue whippet sniffing among bent grass in the dunes

Kim Russell is guest-hosting at Carpe Diem with the following invitation:

I would like the theme to be ‘the poet’s craft’, in which Carpe Diem’s poets express what they think it is, reflecting on their own experiences as haiku and tanka poets.’

For me personally, haiku and tanka are the poems that tap me on the shoulder when I am walking in nature and experiencing her magic and beauty. I used to carry a small notebook and pen with me and write them down as the words came. These days, I type them into my phone. The poems are usually very simple despite having several layers of meaning. They arrive freely when I am listening and have a pulse as long as I do not try to edit.

It is the opposite approach from how I was initially taught to compose my sonnets and polish my sestinas. None of those rules apply here and what I love about this process with haiku and tanka is that it always seems to come straight from the heart, rather than the head.

With love to you all from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx


Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, setting: iA, 1/200 s.


In response to Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu Special #1 – The Poet’s Craft (Kim Russell)

Daily Prompt: None

dVerse Poets Open Link Night #195


Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

62 thoughts on “Tanka: The Poet’s Craft”

  1. Beautiful words put together like this, poke me in the heart and thats when I know God is trying to get my attention. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eivor, Pearl and Xenia: So, @Eivor, you are smart like a smart phone. Well done. Not all of us are.
    Hey @Pearl, straight line to God. Would that we all could.
    And @xenia – lovely pix. We can’t all be that good. But you do good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You kNoW it’s Funny My
    FriEnd.. MaKing straight A’s
    in Language Arts
    and neVer
    Labeled rules
    of Grammar.. to
    Never TaLkinG until
    Age 4 and SpeaKinG
    SonGs oF otHeRS to mINd
    mELd A SpocK oF Love.. Funny
    Little eMpath PathS and Angels
    Are ofTen TaLL and Furry WiTh SMiLes..
    trULy BeASts have been givEn a Bad WRap too long..
    from juST
    oF YoUR CaNiNes.. my FriEnd.. Xenia..;)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. SMiLes.. my FriEnD
        one of the saddest
        pARts of Life i Feel for
        oTHerS and have experienced
        myself in illness is the inabiLiTy
        to Feel a Dog
        or a
        Purr And
        And truly many
        Ceo’s and Politicians..
        eTc.. don’t have the abiLiTy
        aS even born/raised to FeeL this too..
        Power and Status comes without
        purrs too my friEnd and how
        dArk a place
        that is
        towers now
        of SouL.. as well
        with no bottom floor..
        suReLy thaT eXplains a lot,,
        with even sympathy for Devils
        too.. without a Root of Love..:)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this poem! Haiku and tanka both are center and heartfelt poetic forms. This is a lovely example. Which is why I get so upset when folks want to “westernize” them giving no thought to the hearts and culture that created them. Love Eivor without his winter jacket, soaking up sun and breezes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Toni and I can understand how you feel. Haiku and Tanka poems seem to have a pulse and life force of their own and I love it when you can see and feel their heart beat. Eivor and Pearl are so happy the weather has warmed up again – this wh0le week has been gorgeous. Thank you for stopping by and much love to from all of us here xxx


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words :o) Although I originally learned to write according to (far too many) rules, I enjoy the freedom of simply writing from the heart so much more. Haiku and Tanka are perfect forms to write about nature in particular and I am so glad you have discovered a form you enjoy reading. That is often the first step to discovering what kind of poetry you might enjoy creating one day :o) xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When you said the words just fall on the page, that amazes me. I’ve heard song writers say that the song just popped into their mind and I am flabbergasted. Those things just don’t happen to me. Maybe it is the scientist/engineer in me that doesn’t let things “just happen.” I feel I have to analyze everything. That doesn’t make for a creative soul.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have seen your creativity at play in your blog in the way you combine your words and your photographs. You do have a creative soul and maybe the process is different for you ๐Ÿ’œ

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Awww. Thank you! That is very kind. I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Hoping to get up another post today. It’s just been a busy couple of weeks and not had time to sit down to catch up on my blogging world.

        Liked by 1 person

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