Saturday, 3 December 2011

Death Smiles [Tanka in Tandem]

The beautiful rose

Tall, vain, proud- but now slain, lies

Picture-perfect on

The coffin of her mistress,

Whose hand fed that vanity!

Death waits and smiles in

Irony – the beautiful rose

Tall and proud, now his

Prize: another soul to take

Away – unexpected Gift!

30 April, ‘07

(Pictures from : ;

(I read this beautiful poem by Somkritya, here, which made me want to repost this tanka, from a collection of them posted way back, called Tantalizing Tanka :D)

Tanka, like Haiku, is again a form of Japanese Lyric Poetry.

[As you know by now, :) ] A Haiku works with 17 syllables arranged in 3 lines of 5/7/5 syllables to each line, and evokes an aspect of nature and the seasons, with the last line holding the punch so to speak.

Tanka on the other hand gives the writer more space to work with – 31 syllables, arranged in 5 lines of 5/7/5/7/7 syllables each. Tanka is an older form of the lyric in Japanese… dating to 13 centuries ago, while Haiku is just about 3 centuries ago..

Tanka was mainly written between lovers, as society had accepted the fact that a man’s dallying with another woman, other than his wife was normal!! After the man departed early in the morning, he would send a Tanka to his lady love with his message of love..


  1. Death waits to be born again
    and take away be it meek or vain
    surely it doesn't have much to gain
    than give support for this terrain
    dying,unable to immortality sustain
    Death!Can we really arraign?

  2. Just catching up on the ones I missed these past few days. The analysis and the extension of the Tanka is superlative, Govind! Salutes!


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