Helena's Blue Rose Cafe ~ Form: TANKA  January 29, 2013 - February 12, 2013

Contest Completed


Gold Medal - [writing deleted]
Silver Medal - The Stray
Bronze Medal - Liquid Sunshine
Albert's Award - The Deep Blue Ocean


TANKA poems are written about nature, seasons, love, sadness and other strong emotions. This form of poetry dates back almost 1200 years ago.

There are different methods of writing TANKA in English, but the most common form is WRITING FIVE LINES consisting of 5-7-5-7-7 English SYLLABLES. This is also considered to be the most traditional form of tanka.


Line one - 5 syllables Beautiful mountains
Line two - 7 syllables Rivers with cold, cold water.
Line three - 5 syllable White cold snow on rocks
Line four - 7 syllables Trees over the place with frost
Line five - 7 syllables White sparkly snow everywhere.

Note: You count the SYLLABLES on your fingers as you say the line...

Line one - BEAUT/ I/ FUL/ MOUN/ TAINS 5 syllables

Line two - RIV/ ERS/ WITH/ COLD,/ COLD/ WA/ TER 7 syllables

Line three -WHITE/ COLD/ SNOW/ ON/ ROCKS 5 syallables

Line four - TREES/ OV/ ER/ THE/ PLACE/ WITH/ FROST 7 syallables

Line five - WHITE/ SPARK/LY /SNOW/ EVERY/ WHERE 7 syllables

Of course allowances are made for our varying accents in our ' Mother Tongue', when counting the 'beats' but as long as we have the correct number of syllables pertaining to the contest requirement it is quite acceptable.


One example of tanka is a poem written by Gerard John Conforti, of New York City. In his book, Now That the Night Ends (1996), he never varies from this pattern:

This cold winter night
the snow clings to the tree boughs
in the pale moonlight
the kisses of your soft lips
warm this aching heart of mine

Tanka is a beautiful form and I look forward to reading your submissions.

Happy writing!

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1st 2nd 3rd and Honorable Mention


Helen Margaret Crutchett
Helen Margaret Crutchett
N.S.W., Australia


5 Contestants
5 Submissions
Created Jan 29, 2013