Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One Man's Maple Moon: Relationship Tanka by Amelia Fielden

English Original

halving fruit
my second husband's
way of love --
hard to change habits
so late in life

2nd Place, 2000 Tanka Society of America International Tanka Contest

Amelia Fielden

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

表達愛的方式 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

表达爱的方式 --

Bio Sketch

Amelia Fielden is an Australian. She is a professional translator of Japanese Literature, and an enthusiastic writer of tanka in English.Amelia has had published 18 books of translations,and 7 of her own work, as well as 2 collections of responsive tanka with fellow Australian, Kathy Kituai,and 2 bilingual  collections with Saeko Ogi. In 2007 Amelia & co-translator Kozue Uzawa were awarded the Donald Keene Prize For Translation of Japanese Literature,by Columbia University, New York, for the anthology Ferris Wheel : 101 Modern & Contemporary Japanese Tanka.


  1. Although we think that tanka usually do not need commas and periods because the structure of the lines can serve to inform the reader of pauses and endings, we liked this poem so much that we overlooked our opinions about punctuation. We liked how the taste of this poem remained in our mouths for a long time. It is a simple poem that grows more complicated in a satisfying way: her second husband genuinely loves her and she knows that and yet . . . it doesn’t quite feel like real love and yet . . . she accepts his love, too.

    --excerpted from judges' comment, which can be accessed at

  2. Amelia's beautifully-crafted tanka does so much with so little, getting its vivid immediacy from the suggestiveness created by its terse style. What's left unsaid is as important as what's said. Does the speaker's husband also divvy up household chores, ...?

    This tanka stirs the reader to ponder what a "rock-solid" foundation for marriage is? Today's food for thought.