learning goal: what is a tanka? How is related to a renga?
explain exam format and recommend review strategies
brainstorm concrete imagery from each chapter of Tsukiyama’s novel–for example, sand dune (63), dark blue kimono (63), Matsu’s garden (16)
introduce “novel tanka” assignment (see below)
begin assignment, if time allows
Novel Tanka Using concrete imagery from the novel, The Samurai’s Garden, create an original tanka about Gail Tsukiyama’s story. Submit your poem on the other side of this sheet. (Those missing class for their AP BIO exam, submit your poem in a suitably small piece of paper.) Paint a specific portrait with essential words that also convey significant meaning. As an added challenge, “turn” your tanka by moving the “upper poem” to the “lower poem” in a third line that is integrally linked to both halves.
In the sample below, Jeffrey Angles has translated the Japanese original into English. As a result, the translation does not use the traditional syllable count of 5-7-5-7-7. In your original poem, use this traditional count.
A sample tanka from Tada Chimako
I follow the dark corridor
seen in dreams
dimly lit doorways
Notice that the poem produces a mysterious effect through the addition of each new line. Line 3, the “turn” line, moves the poem in and out of a dreamscape.