e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Tanka for a foggy autumn


Carpe Diem has started a series of posts on tanka techniques. Even for non-writers, it’s worth reading the post to enhance understanding and appreciation.

The first technique is to add mystery and depth. Autumn is a good time for mystery I think; not only do we have Hallowe’en and the supernatural, but we are in a sort of between-ness – assessing summer just gone and looking forward to/dreading winter to come.

But autumn is a time of its own, as the old Japanese writers knew so well and wrote about so movingly, as in this tanka written by Toshiyuri and quoted on Carpe Diem:

Cries of quail
from the shore of Mano cove
winds blow
waves of plume grass
ripple in autumn dusk.

My response is:

A dense, white fog fills
the garden; among yellowed
grasses no blade stirs.
A crow, hidden in whiteness,
croaks three times, then falls silent.



Picture from Photo Pin.


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5 thoughts on “Tanka for a foggy autumn

  1. Now that’s a coincidence – crows also featured in my tanka!
    I love the contrast of ‘dense, white fog’ and the hidden crow, as well as of croaking crow and silence – so atmospheric and typical of this time of year.

    I was too late to link up but have added my link to the comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice tanka … good to see you again.


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