Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One Man's Maple Moon: White Raven Tanka by Rebecca Drouilhet

English Original

In the First Nation legends, the white raven comes to guard the moon and stars from evil

a full moon
in the winter sky
the white raven
Vancouver Island

Rebecca Drouilhet

Chinese Translation (Traditional)



Chinese Translation (Simplified)



Bio Sketch

Rebecca Drouilhet is a 59-year-old retired registered nurse.  Her haiku and tanka have appeared in numerous print and electronic journals.  In 2012, she won a Sakura award in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational.  She and her husband, Robert Michael Drouilhet have written a book of haiku titled Lighting a Path.


  1. Rebecca's middle-of-the-story tanka is a good example of how to utilize a note (the joshi, the prefatory note in this case) in such a short poem.

    Structurally speaking, this tanka is made up of two parts: the prefatory note and the tanka.

    The prefatory note establishes the thematic context of the poem, and on a denotative level, this one-scene tanka, technically/cinematically speaking, works effectively as an establishing shot (an extreme wide long shot in this case) that conveys a sense of yugen (through this unusual and riveting image of the "white raven" circling Vancouver Island under the moonlit sky); on a connotative level, this riveting image reveals a troubling relationship between Canadian indigenous peoples and the British Columbia government (represented by this sociopolitically influential island)

    Note: For more info. about "yugen", see my "Poetic Musings: Ezra Pound’s "Metro Poem" as a Yugen Haiku,"

  2. FYI: Below is the opening passage of "The Blossoming of “Idle No More”. Canada’s First Nations Movement," published on GlobalResearch,

    The First Nations-led movement Idle No More emerged in Canada in December 2012 to protest legislation that threatened both the rights of First Nations and environmental protections. The movement has since spread into the U.S. and beyond – and has become one of the central voices in the struggle for Indigenous and ecological justice.
    ReplyDelete ....

    Share with you Dionne Brand's inspiring comment on poetry:

    Poetry is here, just here. Something wrestling with how we live, something dangerous, something honest.

    -- 'On Poetry,' last essay in "Bread Out Of Stone: Recollections on Sex, Recognitions, Race, Dreaming and Politics," p.183