Sunday, February 19, 2017

One Man's Maple Moon: To Do List Tanka by Lesley Anne Swanson

English Original

her to do list
so much longer than mine --
here I sit
biting an apple
down to the core

American Tanka, 25, 2015

Lesley Anne Swanson

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

比我的還長 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

比我的还长 -

Bio Sketch

Lesley Anne Swanson has lived in Northern California, the Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest, but now calls Pennsylvania home.  Always a wordsmith, she discovered tanka in 2011 and has been enthralled ever since.

1 comment:

  1. Technically speaking, this is a good example of what American poet Archibald MacLeish calls "coupled images:" One image is established by words which make it sensuous and vivid to the the eyes or ears or touch-to any of the senses. Another image is put beside it. And "a meaning appears which is neither the meaning of one image nor the meaning of the other nor even the sum of both but a consequence of both -- a consequence of both in their conjunction, in their relation to each other" (Krishna Rayan, Suggestion and Statement in Poetry, p.69). It is in the "space between'" that the poem grows.

    The collocation of a to-do list and a bite deep into the apple core makes the poem emotionally effective. Lesley's tanka reminds me of the following poem by Robert Kusch:

    Lightning on
    the horizon
    my child
    takes a huge
    bite from a pear