Daily Fly Fishing Poem #7: Small Mountain Stream

Small Stream by Anthony Naples

Poem #7: Small Mountain Stream

Rhododendron grows
Hanging low over the stream
Miles to the best fish
I wade cold water, and stones
Find their way into my boots

I thought that I would try to tackle some different poetic forms, for the first of my formal attempts I am trying Japanese Tanka. The above poem is an attempt at tanka.  The waka or tanka is an unrhymed poem of thirty-one syllables. English language Tanka is typically 5 lines with the following number of syllable in each line 5/7/5/7/7. I’m no expert, but from what I gather after some quick online research, the tanka often involves two different references or observations. Usually the poem will pivot from one reference to the other just after or during the third line. It is the juxtaposition of these two observations that can lend meaning to the poem. But to get a much better explanation and understanding check out this good online reference for tanka, Tanka Online.

And here are a few traditional Tanka examples:

Ono no Komachi, a female poet, ca. 850

The colour of the cherry blossom
Has faded in vain
In the long rain
While in idle thoughts
I have spent my life.

Princess Shikishi, 1149 – 1201

Deep in the mountains
The pine branch door
Does not feel the coming of spring:
Only the slow dropping of gems
From the melting snow.

what say you?