Lest we forget.

Strange how this day can sneak up on me.  I’m not thinking of it and not thinking of it — because, why would I be? — and then here it is, April 4th.

Tanka for Martin

forty-one years gone
from that early April day
and here we are now
this distance amazes me
we’ve still so far to travel


I’m discovering that haiku and tankas are only the tip of the iceberg in the category of Japanese poetry forms that have a syllable-count base.  There definitely seems to be a syllable fascination.  It’s a weird place to get caught up, but at the same time, look how fun it is, how it pushes the writer to really distill ideas down to the barest bits.   There’s the katuata (which seems to be the foundation for what we now know as haiku) and the choka (which I like because it can be crazy long if you want it to be, as long as you stick to the thre-line stanza pattern).  So much to learn.  I’m definitely introducing the tanka to my students this week as I start  moving us toward Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day at the end of the month …


2 thoughts on “Lest we forget.

  1. another lovely poem…I found I didn’t want to write about King’s assassination this year. Same with the day of my father’s death–I’d rather remember anything but that, something less sad, not even a birthday necessarily, but an achievement or something…


    1. I don’t blame you. I often want to let these days go by unobserved, too. I woke up to the realization of what day it was on Saturday, and this poem kind of wrote itself while I was still waking, so I decided to go with it.


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