Tanka Workshop #1
Tanka Workshop / Spring
On March 19th, an unseasonably early spring day due to climate change, the Spring Tanka Workshop was held in the Poughkeepsie Galleria Community Room.
As usual, all members (except one) participated in the workshop and made it very exciting. This time, I gave the challenge of composing a poem based on the theme "Iro / Color / Aya". It ended up going relatively smoothly because it is a word that is used frequently on a daily basis.
Recently, some members have faced difficulties in life and because of that, created deeply moving imagery that truly touched me. The authors were so sad and in such pain that they unintentionally wrote their hearts into tanka.
But that is exactly the approach to take towards tanka. I believe that tanka should be composed with a bittersweet mix of joy and sorrow, especially when the heart is hurting so painfully. By expelling those feelings into words, the mind and body will feel lighter. There is also a synergistic effect that takes place where reading your own words can help you understand the reality that you’re facing. Composing tanka is life itself, and I hope that we can continue to walk through it together.
Finally, for the person who was not able to participate due to rehabilitating from a recent stroke, we made a colorful "Get well soon" card and sent that home to them with flowers.
Chikako Mori, Tanka Instructor