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November 30, 2012

Poetry Friday--Ekphrastic Tanka

Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka is a site that contains English language tanka (5-lined Japanese-style poems) relating to physical locations around the world. Atlas Poetica periodically publishes special topical collections of 25 tanka. The most recent of these is Ekphrastic Tanka, edited by Patricia Prime. "Ekphrastic" refers to art about art, in this case tanka about works of painting and sculpture.

Take some time to explore the 25 tanka selected, making sure to click on the links to the inspiration pieces. Be warned, though, not all the links worked on Saturday. Others didn't take you near enough to the art you're looking for. I found links that work for the ones that were either broken or cumbersome:

#2 "Minoan Fisherman at Akrotiri, Greece"

#3 "Sculpture in the grounds of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra," I couldn't find a link, since I wasn't sure what the work is that was referred to in the poem. I assume it is the one titled "Pear," but there is no image on the National Gallery's site.

#4 "The First Abstract"

#18 A direct link to "Wild Waters."

#20 "Lane in Normandy"

My favorite tanka of the collection, #23 by Carole MacRury, has a good link to "Women with a Pink" by Rembrandt van Rijn.

I enjoy reading and writing ekphrastic poetry, and I thought about submitting a tanka when the call came for submissions. Alas, time got away from me and I missed the deadline, but, here is one I would have sent (I have placed the poem directly on the work--it eliminates all the clicking!):

Inspired by "The Peasant Dance" (1568) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Tanka © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Click on the image to get a larger view.

[Note: I have a tanka in the Atlas Poetica collection, 25 Tanka for Children (and Educators).]

Check out the rest of this week's poetry offerings. Amy at The Poem Farm is playing host.

Image courtesy ibiblio [WebMuseum].


  1. A form I've wanted to explore - Thanks, Diane, for the info and links, and congrats on your poem in the collection for children and educators!

  2. Thanks for the lesson on ekphrastic tanka. This is a form I look forward to trying and teaching.
    No party is without--love this part.

  3. Yes, thank you for this information, Diane. I will have to check out these links too. Congrats on your tanka in the collection. So true about that party-character! a.