The tanka is a fairly new poetry form in the United States. It originated in Japan about 1200 years ago. Non- rhyming and similar to the haiku, tanka uses more syllables than haiku. It also makes use of similes, metaphors, and personification. This means that tanka allows the writer to add more of herself to the poem, including emotions. Tanka consists of five non-rhyming lines that are arranged in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern, like this:

Line one: 5 syllables
Line two: 7 syllables
Line three: 5 syllables
Line four: 7 syllables
Line five 7 syllables 

Full, gracious beauty
smiling steadily above
tugging with purpose
at ocean's changing shoreline
embracing steadfast sweethearts.

 

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