Friday, October 30, 2015

One Man's Maple Moon: Auschwitz Tanka by Sonam Chhoki

English Original

to buy postcards
in Auschwitz
I pick a fallen leaf
fold it into my notebook

A Hundred Gourds, 3:2, March 2014

Sonam Chhoki

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Born and raised in the eastern Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Sonam Chhoki has been writing Japanese short forms of haiku, tanka and haibun for about 7 years. These forms resonate with her Tibetan Buddhist upbringing and provide the perfect medium for the exploration of  her country's rich ritual, social and cultural heritage. She is inspired by her father, Sonam Gyamtsho, the architect of Bhutan's non-monastic modern education. Her haiku, tanka and haibun have been published in poetry journals and anthologies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, UK and US.

1 comment:

  1. Structurally speaking, this poignant tanka is made up of five poetic phrases (five "ku;" five "prosodic unites" of 5 or 7 syllables) 1 structured into two parts (the main statement ) with a pivot (L3) (However, although structurally and thematically important, the pivotal line plays little role in generating added meaning to the poem; it's simply because the two parts of the poem describes the same setting).

    Thematically speaking, two different/contrasting views of the memorialization of the holocaust is subtly established. And on a second reading, "postcards" and a "fallen leaf" carry symbolic and emotional significance.

    Below is my tanka on the holocaust, which offers a third perspective on this heart-wrenching issue:

    line upon line
    page after page
    the word
    six million times

    for Phil Chernofsky, author of "And Every Single One Was Someone"

    NeverEnding Story, January 27, 2014

    (for more info. about the book, see the note of "A Room of My Own: A Tanka about the Word, Jew,"