Loving One Another

Write a Tanka


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How do you write tanka?

The basic structure of a tanka poem is 5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7. In other words, there are 5 syllables in line 1, 7 syllables in line 2, 5 syllables in line 3, and 7 syllables in lines 4 and 5.

The Tanka poem is very similar to haiku but Tanka poems have more syllables and it uses simile, metaphor and personification.

Ah, so it’s not just the syllable count that matters. The subject matter has to involve simile, metaphor and personification. Raise the stakes!!

What are Simile, Metaphor and Personification?

  • Simile = Both similes and metaphors are forms of comparison that compare words in a sentence. They can be used to make your sentences more interesting. How are similes and metaphors different? A simile is a word that compares words in a sentence. You can usually tell if a simile is present in a sentence when you see the words as or like. Don ate his salad like a vacuum cleaner. His arms were weak and felt like noodles. The thunder was as loud as fireworks.
  • Metaphor = Like a simile, a metaphor compares words in a sentence; however, instead of saying that one thing is like something else, a metaphor actually makes one thing become something very different by renaming it. A metaphor can sometimes use words like is, are, or was (and other words) to signal that a metaphor is present. However, a metaphor never uses the words like or as to compare. The smoke was cotton balls billowing from the chimney. You are my hero. The sun was a furnace.
  • Personification = Personification is the act of giving non-living things human characteristics. Here is a sample of a short paragraph that uses personification to describe a house:

    Our house is an old friend of ours. Although he creeks and groans with every gust of wind, he never fails to protect us from the elements. He wraps his arms of weathered wood around us and keeps us safe. He’s always been a good friend to us and we would never leave him.
Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Which of those three does my Tanka below employ?

Jesus is a tree

Whose trunk is strong and stable

From it, we branches

Grow out of His love and care

And we bear His compassion

Is it a simile, a metaphor or personification?

Try a Tanka of your own. And have a Terrific Tuesday!

See ya later.

Comments on: "Write a Tanka" (9)

  1. Anonymous said:

    loved it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Metaphor, right?

    Like

  3. I’ve written haiku before, Jan, but never tanka. I loved yours so I’m going to try writing one. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Jan! You seem to be subtly challenging us to write a Tanaka or two. God’s peace!

    Liked by 1 person

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