Tanka

“The classic form of Japanese poetry, fixed centuries ago, as five lines with 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 syllables. It reduces, through the strict limits of its form, all poetic raw materials to the concentrated essence of one static event, image, mood, etc. An example by Saigo Hoshi:

Now indeed I know
That when we said “remember”
And we swore it so,
It was in “we will forget”
That our thoughts most truly met.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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