Friday, January 20, 2017

Cool Announcement: A Freebie, Tanka Teachers Guide

My Dear Friends/Readers:

In Falling Man, Don DeLillo’s novel about the aftermath of 9/11, one character muses on the therapeutic options available to her fellow survivors: “People read poems. People I know, they read poetry to ease the shock and pain, give them a kind of space, something beautiful in language, to bring comfort or composure” (p. 42). In fact, there was a surge of poetry reading/writing in the weeks and months following the attacks.

Today marks one of the darkest days in human history. What we need most to do right now is to spread our love of tanka poetry among the people who are depressed, frustrated, or even angered by Donald Trump's presidential victory, and to help them "to ease the shock and pain" of a post-fact/truth era ushered in by the President of the Divided States of America.

Here is the link to Tanka Teachers Guide, published in 2007 by Modern English Tanka Press in cooperation with the Tanka Society of America,

Selected Tanka:

a gnat’s smudge
on my forearm --
the smallest death
i have known this year
but typical

William Ramsey

a woman
holds the waving child high
as the train passes
where . . . when . . .
did summer disappear

Francine Porad

Dali paintings
on the café wall
the door wide open
to a strange summer
in a strange town

Martin Lucas

wondering for years
what would be
my life’s defining moment
      an egret staring at me
      me staring back

Jeanne Emrich 

around my neck
an emerald stone
dangling on a chain.
still able to comfort me.

Chrissy Vnencak

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