[ Notes ~ By Narayanan Raghunathan ]
Tanka is a genre of poetry that blossomed in the Japanese language and the Zen Buddhist cultural niche much before Haiku as a genre came to be. The exact history and origin is still dubious among scholars. Surely, the origin and now a distant cousin of Haiku, technically Tanka may be tentatively defined as a five-lined Japanese verse not necessarily rhymed with the five lines in 5/7/5/7/7 onji count. Onji is a much shorter phonetical unit than the English syllable. For example two words that each count as a single syllable in English could be counted as two and three onji respectively in the Japanese language. English "syllable" is a more contrived unit than the more phonetical natural "onji". Other onji patterns like 5/7/7/5/7 have also been used. Firstly, Tanka is not two Haiku fused or an extended Haiku but a genre in its own right. Generally the first three lines and the last two lines stand apart as distinct elucidations, the second part enhancing the sentience of the whole. Simile, allegory and such devices (almost taboo according to many self-conscious practitioners of modern English Haiku ) are freely used in Tanka. Kigo [season word] is not a necessity ~ After the breathless smallness of the Haiku, Tanka is a relief genre which affords a greater freedom in both the spatial and temporal senses creating a different poetic aesthetics. Unlike the Haiku, which has gained popularity, all round the world as a universal albeit hybrid genre, the Tanka is somewhat new on the international scene. In a collection of Japanese Tanka one may identify the quality of the genre clearly although a Tanka could easily loose its spatial and metaphysical identity in a any collection of short verses. A practitioner of Tanka in English could choose three alternatives ~
1] adhere strictly to a 5/7/5/7/7 [ or 5/7/7/5/7] syllable count in English ~ or
2] Short/Long//Short//Long/Long [or short/Long/Long/Short/Long ] syllable count in English ~ or
3] Just arrange the five lines freely as aesthetic demands ~ But Keep the Spirit of Tanka ~
Historically, the word "Tanka" is of modern originl.
"The origin of waka is as old as Japanese history itself." By the end of last century 31 onji waka had become very trivialized and mediocre repetitions of poor old themes. Yosano Tekkan (1873 - 1935 ), a staff writer of a prominent Tokyo newspaper voiced when he was a mere 21 year old on May 11, 1894 strongly for a reform in waka writing, to create more originality in poetry. Under him a group of romantics congregated.
"Tekkan was not the only poet who had become concerned with the sad state of waka. A number of other young poets shared the same concern although none dared to verbalize in it in such vehement words. In time they came to form several groups each pushing for the reform of waka in a different way. Although the groups never united, there was a shared feeling that the new type of waka was so markedly different from the traditional one that a new name was needed for it. The name they tacitly agreed on was Tanka. As the reform movements steadily gained in power and influence, the new name also gained public sanction. By 1910, Tanka had established itself as a viable genre of modern Japanese literature." [ --------]
" Acoording to a myth recorded in Japan's oldest book Kojiki ( The record of Ancient Matters ), a brother of the sun goddess intonated the following thirty-one syllables when he had a house built for his bride.
here where eight clouds rise yakumo tatsu
in the land of Izumo Izumo yaegaki
I will house my beloved tsumagomi ni
inside an eightfold fence yaegaki tsukuru
inside an eightfold fence sono yaegaki wo
[ --------- ]
"Because kojiki is known to have been completed in 712 AD, it can be surmised that the prototype of thirty-one-syllable verse existed already in the oral literature of the seventh century or earlier. " [ -------- ]
"Predilection for the 5-7-5-7-7 form became more pronounced in the earliest anthology of Japanese verse, Man yoshu ( The Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) which was compiled in the middle of the eigth century. Of some 4500 poems that make up the collection, over 4200 were written in the waka form." [ --------- ]
"During the next several centuries waka gradually evolved into court poetry, as the nations literary and cultural activities came to be centralized in the imperial court. The thirty-one-syllable form became so prevailing that all the other forms were marginalized or driven to extinction." [ ---------- ]
"The results of all these efforts are clearly manifest in the next important anthology of verse, Kokinshu (The Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems) which was presented to the imperial court in 905. Of the 1100 poems that constituted the collection, all but nine were written in thirty-one syllables."[ ----------- ]
"Twenty more anthologies of Japanese poetry, of which an overwhelming majority was written in thirty-one syllables, were compiled under imperial auspices during the five hundred and fifty years that followed." [ ----------- ]
"Of the late poetry collections, the most highly admired was the eighth imperial anthology, Shin Kokinshu ( The New Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems ), compiled in 1205 and comprising 1978 poems written exclusively in the waka form. " [ ---------- ]
"Because they sought novelty above all else, the waka poets of this period were forced to pursue every available poetic device to its limit.
Not surprisingly, the supreme artistry of the Shin kokinshu was never to be matched in the centuries that followed. Wih no areas left to explore within the thirty-one-syllable form, many talented poets of later times chose to try their hands in other genres." [------ ]
Some took to renga and others to Haikai that "branched off from renga". [ ------ ]
"Waka fell into steady decline". [ ------ ]
"Different groups of poets went different ways in their efforts to modernize the thirty-one-syllable form." [ ---------- ]
"Tekkan and his group founded a new poetry magazine called Myojo ( The Morning Star )." [--------] "The magazine immediately became popular among young poets who had been unhappy with their environment. " [ -------- ]
The Tanka reform movement of the Myojo group was enhanced highly by the appearance of a remarable young female poet Yosano Akiko (1878-1942) who later married Tekkan.
"Another group of young poets intent on tanka reform gathered around Masaoka Shiki(1867-1902) , a charismatic leader of the haiku modernization movement who also had an active interest in tanka. "
[ ------ ]
"The method he proposed was to utilize the principle of shasei or sketch from life which he had developed in the course of his earlier attempt to reform haiku. " [ ------- ]
" The shasei movement made little impact on the tanka scene during Shikis lifetime, since his group had neither a group magazine like Myojo nor a colorful advocate like Yosano Akiko" [ ------ ]
" Peoples fascination with romanticism waned a few years after the turn of the century and came to be replaced by an enthusiasm for naturalistic realism that had been newly imported from the West.
Encouraged, Shikis followers began to publish several magazines. One such, founded in 1908 and called Araragi (The N ew Tree ) especially gained popularity and in time became the most prestigious tanka magazine in the country. Myojo expired two months after the founding of Araragi." [ ------ ]
Two major poets who published in Araragi and chalked their own ways later are Saito Mokichi ( 1882-1953) and Shaku Choko( 1887-1953)
The third group which considered tanka as social crticism also emerged
extending the shasei principle.
"To them shasei meant portraying society as it really was, thereby revealing the pitfalls that lay in wait for the ordinary person. "[ -----]
Ishikawa Takuboku (1886-1912) was a well-known member of this group.
Tanka was also written by writers of fiction"as their secondary form of literary expressionv. Mori Ogai(1862 - 1922) and Okamoto Kanoko(1889 -1939) are two prominent writers of prose fiction who also wrote tanka.
"New types of Tanka were also written by poets primarily known for their works in free verse. " [ --------] Kitahara Hakushu (1885-1942) Miyazawa Kenji (1896 -1932) were two prominent free verse writers who also wrote Tanka.
Toki Zenmaro (1885-1980) introduced three line tanka instead of one continuous line.
The left wing ideological Tanka movement also made its appearance and was popular for a while after World War I and The Russian Revolution . Okuma Nobuyki ( 1893-1977) is a well known poet who was involved with the left wng.
"The left wing movement had the effect of polarizing the contemporary tanka scene, for it pushed poets of the opposing camp farther in the direction of "pure" poetry devoid of political and social implications. Poets in this latter camp were known as 'modernists'because, like their namesakes in Europe, they had a belief in art for arts sake, a desire to escape from the sordid reality of life, and a preference for surrealist imagery and symbolic language. "[ -------- ]
"In 1930 some of the modernists gathered together to form the Art School Tanka Club." [ ------ ] The club did not last long.
Maekawa Samio ( 1903-1990 ) and Saito Fumi (b.1909 ) are two major figures of the modernist camp.
World War II brought repression of free expression. In Japan and poets were forced to write war slogans!
"The end of the war in 1945 brought utter confusion to the defeated nation and its people. To poets and writers, however, it meant the beginning of an era that allowed them to write whatever they wanted to write. [ ------- ] Tanka poets with left-wing inclinations founded the Jinmin tanka (Peoples Tanka) six months after the end of the war. The Araragi group, which had suspended the magazine in 1944, resumed publication at about the same time. Poets who were more romantically inclined gathered together to revive Myojo in 1947."
[ ------- ]
"There was also a new generation of poets who were dissatisfied with most of the theories and practices of prewar poets. They founded the society of New Tanka Poets in late 1946 "[ ------- ] Kondo Yoshimi (b.1913) and Miya Shuji(1911-1986) are specially well-known among this group of postwar generation poets.
Avant-garde tanka is a name give by the mass media, but lack of a better term has caused it to be widely used to designate the works of certain young poets who, with their striking imagery and bold technique, shocked general readers of tanka in the mid-950s. [ ---- ]
Tsukamoto Kunio ( b. 1922 ) and Nakajo Fumiko ( 1922-1954) are the most influential poets of this category.
"In today's Japan, tanka seems to be thriving as ever. In addition to the two major tanka magazines that have been published since the postwar period, a third was founded in 1977, and a fourth in 1987. Furthermore, several hundred 'little magazines' are published by tanka groups scattered all over the country. In 1979 and 1980 a major commercial publisher brought out twenty volumes of Showa Man-yoshu
( Man-yoshu of the Showa Era ), anthologizing some 50,000 tanka written during the reign of Emperor Showa. Another large publishing house issued the fifteen volume Gendai tanka zenshu ( The Grand Collection of Modern Tanka) in 1980 and 1981, making available virtually all the major books of tanka published in the last one hundred years. Then in 1987 Sarada kinenbi ( Salad Anniversary), a slim volume of tanka composed by a young high school teacher( Tawara Machi), became a great best seller, " [ ------ ]
Sasaki Yukitsuna (b. 1938) and Tawara Machi ( b. 1962) are two important personalities among many gifted poets writing tanka today.
"What are the charms of the age-old thirty-one-syllable form in the eyes of todays poets and readers, [ ------ ]
There is no simple answer to that question, as different people have found different charms in the tanka form." [ ------]
"Perhaps this very lack of consensus is the best answer explaining why this ancient verse form is still strong. The tanka form is fixed yet flexible." [------ ]
"Tanka will continue to be written as long as Japanese culture continues to survive. A more pertinent question may be whether the tanka form is universal enough to be transplanted into a foreign soil and grow as vigorously as haiku. Having read some recent examples of English tanka, I am inclined to believe it is."
All selected from
Introduction in " Modern Japanese Tanka An Anthology" Edited and Translated by Makoto Ueda. Columbia University Press 1996
The following Tanka are a selection from this book. This is a very
essential anthology to be read by every English tanka lover. The Biographical notes for each author and an excellent Bibliography are also an added attraction in this book .
To our baby that just died
in the dark woods
lying ahead on your road
whom will you call ?
you don't yet know the names
of your parents or your own
( Yosano Tekkan : 1873 - 1935 )
beyond the glass door
the bright rays of the moon
above the grove of trees
a long trail of white cloud
( Masaoka Shiki : 1867 - 1902 )
over the scattered books
a little mouse
I pretend to be asleep
and watch it for a while
( Mori Ogai : 1862 - 1922)
into a pair of stars
we will turn till then
let us never recall
we heard in the same bed.
( Yosano Akiko : 1878 - 1942 )
just for fun
I put mother on my back
she weighs so
little that I start crying
and can't walk three steps
( Ishikawa Takuboku : 1886 - 1912 )
makes me recall the day
when I killed wild silkworms
in the mountains of the north
( Saito Mokichi : 1882 - 1953 )
out of this urge to cry
I went to the city
and out of this urge to cry
came home from the city
( Kitahara Hakushu : 1885 - 1942 )
from the waters depth
my face in the present world
looks up at me
what loneliness awaits me
in the world to come
( Shaku Choku : 1887 - 1954 )
to live in Japan and say
in the language
of the Japanese people
whats on my mind.
( Toki Zenmaro : 1885 = 1980 )
a silkworm does not cry
or sing out
but seals its grief-laden heart
in a cocoon it waeaves
( Okamoto Kanoko : 1889 - 1939 )
with red eyes
and numerous body joints
like floating weeds
and hop around in my brain
( Miyazawa Kenji : 1896 - 1933 )
pushing a cart
poor fellow !
in this huge
Labor Day crowd
( Okuma Nobuyuki : b. 1893 )
why does the room
have to be rectangular ?
I stare around the room
like a lunatic
(Maekawa Samio : 1903 - 1990 )
when neither a man
nor a horse is seen passing
over a bridge
only then it begins to show
what a true bridge is like
( Saito Fumi : b. 1909 )
out of the shade
and toward the sunlight
a flock of chickens
with their numerous legs
( Miya Shuji : 1912 - 1986 )
shrouded in an instant
by the whirling snow
in the darkling metropolis
as I watch from a window
( Kondo Yoshimi : b. 1913 )
in a grove
of champagne bottles
someone teaching a class
on differential and integral
( Tsukamoto Kunio : b. 1922 )
it is a flower
and so will not look down on
( Nakajo Fumiko : 1922 ï¿½ 1954 )
AT THE ZOO
that doesn't gallop
and a man who doesn't hunt
understand each other
and avert their eyes
( Sasaki Yukitsuna : b. 1938 )
"Until age thirty
I am going to take a stroll"
make me wonder what part
of your scenery I am
( Tawara Machi : b. 1963 )
All the above Tanka are taken from
" Modern Japanese Tanka An Anthology" Edited and Translated by Makoto Ueda. Columbia University Press 1996
For more details of the History and techniques of the genre refer the following links.
A Brilliant essay introducing Tanka as a genre by Richard MacDonald with examples and historic references.
Jane Reichhold's Tanka ~ General Link.
Five Years of Tanka History in America
Pleasant Ruminations on The Tanka Contest for Mirrors International Tanka Awards between 1990 and 1995. It is also a miniature subjective history of these contests.
Tanka for the Memory
A Brief history of the genre with possibility of the genre growing and taking own wings in the English language in its own unique way.
"So revered became tanka - and so eager were men and women to improve their own works - that contests were regularly held for the purpose of writing and reading of tanka. So necessary was a body of esteemed works to which one could refer (and be inspired) that the emperors decreed the collection of anthologies beginning around 700 AD.
Thus, there are preserved in Japanese, more tanka than any other poetry form in the world. Yet, here in North America, the interest has only begun to gather momentum. "
"If you've enjoyed reading and writing haiku, you will probably luxuriate in tanka. Here the writer gets two extra lines - and long ones at that! - plus the go-ahead to write about one's feelings! For a society such as ours, where people are encouraged to express and explore their feelings, tanka seems better fitting as a poetry form than the more popular haiku."
"We aren't Japanese and we come from the land of songs, sonnets and limericks (as well as longer forms of poetry). Tanka is new to us and we will never write a real tanka as we cannot write, even in kanji, a real haiku. The best we can do is to be ourselves under the influence of the tanka genre. Some persons will very soon appear on the scene saying, "It isn't a tanka unless it has...!"
"At this stage, I can only say I would prefer that each writer adopt some rules to begin with. As you write you may discard one or more and adopt others. The important issue is not the form you use or the fact that you have used a form (whether it comes from the Japanese, experts or yourself), but what you are able to do within some kind of limits.
Looking at tanka history it seems that the only infallible way of writing great tanka is to have an affair. Go ahead! Do it now. But that doesn't mean that it must be a behind-the-bushes affair in the no-tell motel. Let yourself fall in love with anything or anyone you want to. It can be nature, a scene, a place, an activity, persons; your own kids, grandkids or even - your mate, or just life itself. Whatever feels good and right for you."
Tanka Article Published in
Very useful article on Tanka and its peculiar qualities ~
"When Japanese history was first being committed to writing -- the middle of the 7th century AD -- there already was a long oral history of the uta [song] in the waka. The waka then and the tanka today consisted of five phrases. Then as now, the Japanese language composed phrases most naturally into either short ones --consisting of five onji [a sound syllable consisting usually of a consonant and a vowel] -- or a longer unit consisting of seven onji. Instead of punctuation, the Japanese use small words consisting of one or two onji to indicate the line breaks and give them a 'tone' as in asking a question or indicating exclamation. Because of the familiarity of the natural syntax of the phrases -- in Japanese poetry this was highly regulated so that only certain phrases expressed with time-honored wording -- the reader knew exactly where these non-breaking line breaks occurred. Thus their tanka were written in one or (mostly) two vertical lines. Lacking these natural indicators in English, tanka, are written in translation in (usually) five lines to indicate the breaks and to allow the reader the same feeling for pause and change.v
"Because English is so different from Japanese, we cannot follow their methods to arrive with the same poem/product. If we write the five lines with 5-7-5-7-7 syllables, our tanka will end up being about 1/3 longer than one written by the same method in Japanese. Thus, in English, we have three distinct forms.
First is the method of writing five lines consisting of 5-7-5-7-7 English syllables which is considered 'traditional' and is claimed by some Japanese to be the only 'real' tanka, even if the poem turns out too long. Some authors have adopted this method naturally and have no interest in writing a shorter Japanese equivalent. One is Gerard John Conforti, of New York City. In his book, Now That the Night Ends (1996), he never varies from this pattern:
This cold winter night
Can you feel how he has tempered his phrases so there is a melodic rhythm that is complete in each line? Another author followed the approximate 5-7-5-7-7 formula but allows her speech to form in its own natural rhythm. For this use of enjambment, Geraldine C. Little of New Jersey employs the complete range of punctuation. From her book, More Light, Larger Vision (1992), we can read Geraldine C. Little's tanka:
caught in my mirror
The other accepted English style is to write the five lines composed of short-long-short-long-long phrases so the end result shows this shape on the page. Some poets, such as Anna Holley of Texas is, are attuned to writing in the style Japanese tanka would be if written in English. Notice how very short and succinct these lines are, but yet you will see that each poem fulfills most of the requirements for a tanka.
The last and still accepted way is the 'experimental' in which the poet follows his/her own speech and makes no effort to rewrite or rephrase the lines to make them fit to any pattern. As result of his translations of 20th century Japanese tanka writers, (mainly Tokuboku), Sanford Goldstein, now living in Japan, opts for this method. An example from the English tanka anthology, Wind Five Folded (1994) contains his sequence "Buddha: a tanka string" which begins with:
Here, you can see where what he calls 'tanka' is blurring the line to haiku or even... In some of Goldstein's more recent works he is writing longer tanka, but he was not alone in his former style so you may see other authors' very short tanka written in this style."
"Because tanka in English is new, I am doing what I can to keep the form as open as possible by not setting definite rules and boundaries, by saying that for a poem to be a 'real' tanka it must conform to this or that rule. However, I do encourage new writers (we are all new now!) to form their own inner rules so their poetry contains the challenge of word-smithing. Make up your rules out of the many possible variations. Experiment until you find what suits you and your way of speaking and writing. Make it your own. Stick with it as long as it works for you.
Since the history of Japanese tanka is so long -- thirteen hundred years -- and the rules have changed so much, there are many various styles now which allow the poet to follow any and still be within one of the realm of tanka"
"Before moving away from the form of tanka, and getting to the techniques, I would like to offer some thoughts on why this genre has been so endearing and enduring. And it is that. Though the form, surely an adaptation of the Chinese quatrains, which were themselves an adaptation of the even earlier ghazal from the Middle East, the tanka is still very popular in Japan. In 1987, a young woman, Machi Tawara, just beginning her teaching career wrote a book of tanka, Sarada kinebi [Salad Anniversary]. In Japan alone, this book sold over 11 million copies. Each year, on New Year's Day celebration, the Emperor of Japan and his family join millions of the commoners in writing tanka on designated topics. In an impressive ceremony a selection of these tanka are chanted in a time-honored ceremony before the Royal Court and are then preserved as national treasures.v
"Because the form is short, it is easy to work out a tanka in one's head. This practice encourages one to 'think in tanka'. When one does this, one adopts a way of thinking -- of organizing one's impressions. Tanka, unlike haiku, is emotional. Instead of denying one's feelings or hiding them behind concrete images, tanka is openly the form for expressing emotional states. Yet it is most often based on natural world phenomenon."
Come Pivot with Me
"The use of a pivot word is a beloved technique from tanka, still being used after 1,300 years, in that form and its much younger grandchild -- haiku.
One of the trademarks of a tanka (besides the traditional five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 onji -- syllables) is a short poetic statement depicting nature (here it may seem much like something you could call a haiku) which is linked to a designated feeling or emotional attitude of the author. This latter aspect is a basic one dividing the two forms today.
By expressing emotional feelings tanka affirms a connectedness between something unseen but real -- our feelings -- with the observable world around us. Tanka gives the mind a picture which can, if it is successful, joins for and evokes a felt emotional state.
During the development of tanka, writers became very sensitive to the bridge --the word, or words -- leading the reader from the nature image to the statement of emotion. They found in their language, as we have in ours, words which can apply or add to the description of both nature and human feelings. For example, a classic tanka by Anonymous from the Kokinshu translated by Donald Keene:
Because there was a seed
Here the phrase "on barren rocks" refers to both the ground where a seed fell and grew while at the same it is describing the feeling of lack of love because of the couple's not being able to meet. One test of the effectiveness of this technique is to cover the bottom two lines to see if they read as a unit with one meaning. If you cover the top two lines, reusing the third line, this unit gives the pivot phrase another meaning."
A tentative comparative study of Tanka vs Haiku noting the similarities and differences. A very useful essay for the practitioners of the genres.
For a good collection of English Tanka by various authors see below
For Further Reading
Tanka Published in LYNX
Tanka Winners in Tanka Splendor 1992
A Selection of TANKA WINNERS
judged by Jane Hirshfield.
A Tanka Group active with Jane Reichhold as the moderator.
See Below for a brilliant rendering of one hundred and fifty Psalms from the Bible as Tanka.
"THE TANKA PSALTER
Revised May 26 2005
This is the Hypertext version of the Tanka Psalter. One hundred and fifty psalms have been paraphrased in the form of the Japanese Tanka.
The psalms are not presented in Biblical order but have been grouped according to the major emotional themes of life ~~~"
Another five line genre the western cinquain stands out in contrast to the Tanka. Although any five line poem may perhaps be called a cinquain, 2/4/6/8/2 syllable count for lines is the general rule.
But I think the Tanka has an eastern Zen quality which identifies it. Here are some Tanka in English by Narayanan Raghunathan.
THE SONG OF THE BEING
radiant red hibiscus, ah!
solitary seer of sacred dawn,
what ancient song
wells up today, fierce in
your invisible fire-soul?
A QUANDARY RESOLVED ~
I was in a quandary
wondering what to do~
the gentle Tulsi leaves
nodded in sweet approval ~
I instantly knew exactly what to~
Tulsi ~ Sacred herbal plant whose leaves used in ceremonial worship in Hindu Temples and at homes ~ There are extraordinary mystic myths associated with this plant [See ~ Shiva Puraanam] ~ Tulsi is considered specially auspicious for Vishnu [All-Pervasive Lord] and Lakshmi His Divine Spouse ~
Kaali ~ The Primal Mother In Devastating Fury ~ [See. Devi Maahaatmyam ~]
splendour storm terror
thunder lightning silences ~
Buddha worlds burst open ~
Mighty Kaali dumb-founds ~
I glow vast in pure rapture ~
imaginary lands eat
imaginary things ~
I eat an apple, listen
to sparrows sing ~
does the grass look
green gold rainbow or fire to
your miracle eyes,
into melody-silences ~
THE PERFECT FALL
That is a neat fall
senor master aeronaut
proud on orange wings ~
Where did you learn it?
From ancient Adam?
Note ~ "Felix Peccatum Adae" [Fortunate Sin Of Adam} ~ St. Augustine ~
in spring breeze
near the gurgling river
fire works from
the temple festival.
twilight hovers vast
the mountain town
arctic birds arrive in
down the ganges
pahaadi women bloom
spring dreams in mist
I hear bhaageerathy
wander along with me
in moonlight breeze
old man and woman
walk along the grass path
a dog follows them to
the big bang of
numerical scientists is
a morbid conjecture
beware dear friends
these scientists tell lies
to unborn originlessness
the mahaa virat purusha
manifests everywhere still
my greedy friends
seeking nobel prizes
can you really imagine
the nature of the sciences
after billion billion years
charles darwin is
surely in putrid hell now
he has a tail too
and a human memory
with a chimpanzee face
death is a joke
the heavens and hells
are greater jokes
the joker really manifests
and surely all turns into light
I wander through
reach the spanda cosmoses
of infinite sourceless endless
infinitudes for all for ever
lifting the veil of light
she reveals her hidden face
infinite cosmoses bloom
magic parables resonating
in fairy tales still unborn
echoes splendid spectacles
nurtured in ether light
I remember my father now
laid up on an earthy bed
the wind sways
the mountain seamless
on the twilight sky
countless children in colour
play on the beach
Notes: Compiled by Narayanan Raghunathan
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