Tanka

The Japanese Tanka poem has a syllable pattern of 5 7 5 7 7, like an expanded haiku, if you will.  They focus on capturing a certain mood, like small "slices of life".  In my case, they're mostly about school and being tired and wanting to goof off.

 

日の終わり
忙しすぎて   ねたいだけ
明日も同じ   疲れる私

hi no owari
isogashi sugite   netai dake
ashita mo onaji tsukareru watashi


end of the day
too busy   only want to sleep
tomorrow also the same tired me

 

今、夜中   クラスの本を読みつつも
眠りと戦う   終わり見えず

ima, yonaka   KURASU no hon wo yomi tsutsumo
nemuri to tatakau   owari miezu


middle of the night   reading a book for class
fighting with sleep   no end in sight

 

午後うちに帰った後で
ゲームして
この宿題を忘れたよう

gogo uchi ni kaetta ato de
GEEMU shite
kono shukudai wo wasureta you


after coming home in the afternoon
I play games
as if I've forgotten this homework

 

教室の暗闇にいて
先生はまだ教えてる
私はねてる

kyoushitsu no kurayami ni ite
sensei wa mada oshieteru
watashi wa neteru


in the darkness of the classroom
the teacher is still teaching
I am sleeping

 

雨の中   散歩している
咲いている花は私によりそうよう

ame no naka   sanpo shiteiru
mada saiteiru hana wa watashi ni yorisou you


in the rain   taking a walk
the flowers still blooming seem to keep me company

 

- April 16, 2002

 

 

Comments

These tanka came out so much better than the haiku we wrote last year in Japanese class.  I don't know whether it's because my Japanese has improved that much in one year or whether I was just better able to "get" the idea of expressing an emotion or whether the longer form is simply easier.

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