Thursday 18 February 2016

Haikus and tankas and such like....

If you can bear with the technicalities for a minute!!!

Haiku started out as a popular activity called “Tanka."  during the 9th to 12th centuries in Japan.
A Tanka was a progressive poem.

The first poet gave a 5-7-5 mora verse, 
the second a 7-7 mora verse 
and on it went.
(a mora is similar to a syllable)

The hokku was the name given to the first verse that set the mood for the rest.
It came into its own in the 19th century when hokkus were written and read for their own sake.

The three masters of “hokku” from the 17th century were Basho, Issa, and Buson. 
My three Haiku attempts do not progress tanka fashion.
The theme of Haikus was traditionally Nature but Love crept in as a permissible subject.

Mine are about  a love (of sorts)…

When you expect to hear from the beloved and you don’t….
There is a period of


Your Silence in haikus

Your silence: a ball
unravelled, that could be tight
and hard to the touch


Yet sometimes I feel
it wrap itself about me
like some outer layer


At times it does not
touch me anywhere, and I
am left, to wonder

                                                                 Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

1 comment:

  1. Hey, You might be interested in this then!
    (I had never heard of tankas until 10 days ago!)

    with the Dublin Kitsuke Society
    with tanka poet Hisa Kagawa and haiku poet Anatoly Kudryavitsky
    Hosted by the Embassy of Japan, the Irish Haiku Society and Experience Japan
    on Friday, 26 February

    The Embassy of Japan is pleased to inform you of an evening of Japanese culture co-hosted with the Irish Haiku Society and Experience Japan. The event will feature a kimono lecture and demonstration by Ms Emily Waszak, Ms Akiko Kidokoro and Ms Emiko Kasajima of the Dublin Kitsuke Society, followed by readings by tanka poet Ms Hisa Kagawa from Osaka, Japan, and by haiku poet Dr Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Chairman of the Irish Haiku Society (

    - Date: Friday, 26 February 2016
    - Time: 17.00 - 19.30 (doors open at 16.30 - no admittance after 18.00 for security reasons)
    - Venue: Embassy of Japan, Nutley Building, Merrion Centre, Nutley Lane, Dublin 4 (
    - Admission: free of charge
    - Light refreshments will be served after the readings
    Advance registration by Wednesday, 24 February is required, as seating is limited. To register for this event and for further information, please contact the Embassy's Press and Cultural Affairs Section (, 01 - 202 8305).