Friday, April 3, 2015

Flyers and Emails - a tanka

Modest home, but with all the essentials

 Ever get letters in your mailbox from redevelopment companies offering you cash for your house? We do. Every month. For sixteen years. With much of California moving north for jobs and water, our property is H.O.T.  Evidently though, the house itself leaves much to be desired. In our neighborhood, many of the smaller bungalows like ours have been torn down and replaced with "custom homes." Granted, newer and bigger is indeed an established American custom. 

We've ignored the latest offer to cash in yet again, so I wrote a poem about it. It's short and sweet, in the form of a tanka.

Here goes:

flyers and emails
offering large sums of cash
sending a message
our happy home is worth much
to builders who would raze it

If you've never heard of the tanka form of poetry, that's ok! Here are some basic facts to know:

1. It's a longer, older cousin to the haiku
2. Tanka means "short song" in Japanese and is traditionally written in one line of 31 syllables
3. In English, it is written in 5/7/5/7/7 form
4. The 3rd line typically acts like a pivotal image, or turn. It works with the top two lines to bring forth an image, and with the bottom two lines to offer a personal reflection or response. It's versatile that way.

Our home has been a happy one for years.
Want to write a tanka? Try it out! Feel free to post yours in the comments section.

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