You have two choices for this original-poem assignment.  Pick one.  Enter class with  the already-typed-and printed work stored in your poetry folder.  We will use class time for activities other than printing.

Choice One: a poem following the model of Tada Chimako’s “Calendar in Verse”

Choice Two: ten tanka


expectations for Choice One (consult your copy of Tada Chimako’s poem)

In your poem, make the speaker an inanimate object. The goal is to leave the audience with some sense of a human emotion emerging from this object.  For example, the speaker in Tada Chimako’s poem is a calendar that expresses a kind of longing.  The calendar is constantly waiting for something and never quite reaching or seeing it.  (HINT: Tada Chimako’s poem never uses the word “longing.”  Convey the human emotion without directly naming that feeling.  In other words, show rather than tell.)

three stanzas, each consisting of four lines followed by two lines; the two lines are each broken by space–on the left side of the break, a statement somehow connected to that stanza’s opening four lines and on the right side of the break a metaphorical image echoing/reinforcing the statement on the left side

the last stanza, like the previous two, starts with a four-line section, but is followed by at least five lines

minimum number of total lines: 21

expectations for Choice Two

ten separate, original tanka–about anything.  You can write about ten different subjects/moments, or you can offer multiple tanka on related subjects/moments.  You decide.  Just make sure that each poem contains these ingredients:

concrete imagery; 5 lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count; a turn in line 3; an “upper phrase” in the 5-7-5 and a “lower phrase” in the 7-7; some kind of symmetrical relationship between the upper and lower phrase

reputable poems

stand strong and straight like an oak

with roots in the ground

that help it sway with the winds

so it won’t break in the storm

B Brown 10 Sep 15