Saturday, December 27, 2014

One Man's Maple Moon: Stories Tanka by Marianne Paul

English Original

there are stories
a mother shouldn't tell
her daughter --
that cloudless summer day
when you told me

All The Shells: Tanka Society of America Members' Anthology 2014

Marianne Paul

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

她的女兒 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

她的女儿 --

Bio Sketch

Marianne Paul is a Canadian novelist and poet with a keen interest in Japanese-form minimalist poetry. Her haiku have been published in A Hundred Gourds, The Heron's Nest, Acorn, Modern Haiku, Gems, cattails, Bones, and Frozen Butterfly. She was a contributor to the Spring/Summer 2014 publishing cycle on Daily Haiku. You can learn more about her work at


  1. The implied contrasts between the two parts of the tanka are poignant.

    These family taboos (stories/a mother shouldn't tell/her daughter) had been like "dark clouds hovering over the speaker's mother" for years; finally, she told the speaker these stories on a "cloudless summer day" (bright summer day)

  2. Below is excerpted from Jenny Ward Angyal's "A Review of All the Shells," Skylark, 3:1, Summer 2015

    ... , but {Paul's] tanka give[s]us evocative bits of story that make us want to know— or imagine— more. Paul’s poem uses careful understatement— we don’t need to know exactly what mother told daughter to catch the emotional impact of the revelation— as well as a single, strongly contrasting visual image— the cloudless summer day— that leads us to feel the sudden chill of a psychological cloud.