Monday, February 18, 2008

Maybe this will help . . .

I'm a member of a small writer's group. One of our members, Myrna, writes beautiful poetry. Saturday, she shared samples of her new collection of tankas. I had never heard of this form before but I was instantly drawn to it. If you're not familiar with it, it consists of five lines following a syllable count of 5,7,5,7,7. From what I understand they don't rhyme and usually try to capture a moment in time.

Okay, okay, I'll get to the point. I'm a very literal person. I'm a musician who can't write songs. Song lyrics are tough for me because I have trouble with the poetic license needed. This problem bleeds over into novel writing. I tend to say exactly what I mean instead of finding a fresh indirect way of getting the idea across. So, as an excercise, I will try to write a few of these. Here's my first attempt:

Clouds of mist and rain
Barren fields all but dead
Life from water flows
Blood from the lamb washes clean
Love on the cross all I need

7 comments:

Janet Rubin said...

a nicely writ poem,
could not have done it myself,
tankas seem real neat,
following that recipe,
rocks as long as you can count.

No, seriously, it's cool. I like it. The only thing that stopped me was the thought that barren fields sound totally dead, and saying "all but dead," suggests some remaining life. Not that you asked for a crit...

Nicole said...

Barren can mean empty, too, unproductive, even desolate. If left indefinitely . . . well, then dead.

Great job, Dayle.

Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

Dayle works at his blog
tankas the subject at hand
did Dayle take license
Todd reads and counts syllables
shouldn't line two count seven


You know I hate to point out your errors (I manage to say with a straight face)! But, line two actually has six syllables.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I don't know about you, Todd. But where I come from fields is two syllables.

Actually, the original handwritten version has 7 I'm sure. I'll have to check when I get home.

Kay said...

ha ha!
Yeh, How DO you southerners count syllables?
I have to laugh at how many Paula Dean gets out of words!

Todd said...

fields (-yuldz)