Thursday, February 22, 2018

One Man's Maple Moon: Silence Tanka by Kathy Kituai

English Original

the silence
after magpies sing ...
enough to know
you cradled the phone
the way I did when we hung up

Distinctive Scribbling Award, Eucalypt,  20, 2016

Kathy Kituai

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

的沉默 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Kathy Kituai is a poet, diarist, founder and facilitator of Limestone Tanka Poets and Kate’s Kitchen has received two Canberra Critic awards for supporting other writers.  She has facilitated creative writing courses in Scotland, SA, NSW, and ACT since 1990, has published 5 anthologies, a children’s picture book, a four-part documentary dramatized for NBC radio, 7 poetry collections, 2 CDs and her latest publications are Deep in the Valley of Tea Bowls and Ink to Paper.

1 comment:

  1. the silence
    after magpies sing . . .
    enough to know
    you cradled the phone
    the way I did after we hung up

    — Kathy Kituai

    What struck me about Kathy Kituai's poem is the way the 'silence' is the medium, by which the whole emotional and psychological significance of the imageries comes to light. First of all, as a contrast to the magpies' song it creates a space and moment for the poet's reflection. This lull after the magpies' song and the poet's own conversation on the telephone is charged with poignancy. The detail, 'cradled' evokes the act of nurturing, protecting and caring for someone. There is tenderness and intimacy in way the poet pictures the other person mirroring her own action. :

    "you cradled the phone
    the way I did after we hung up"

    The ache in this poem strikes a strong chord with anyone who has been separated from a child or a loved one.

    I am also grateful to Kathy Kituai for sending me on a search of discovery about the magpie. In many parts of the world this bird has a reputation for being a pest, pilfering 'shiny objects' such as pieces of jewellery and during its breeding season 'swooping' and attacking unsuspecting cyclists and walkers. However, an Internet search reveals that the magpie is also known as the 'flute bird' for its range of accomplished songs and that it is celebrated in aboriginal folklore as a 'sunrise' bird.

    -- excerpted from "An Appraisal" by Sonam Chhoki, which can be accessed at