Present: Lynette Arden, Stella Damarjati, Steve Wigg, Julia Wakefield.
We discussed tanka, as planned from the previous meeting. Stella showed us some that she had prepared, including one that had been accepted for Eucalypt, and Lynn showed us some tanka that she had previously published. We also looked at tanka by Julie Thorndyke.
We agreed that tanka are most often successful when they form a complete sentence, and the last two lines don’t have to be longer in order for the tanka to work – even one word in a line is acceptable. We tried doing a five-minute brainstorm, writing sentences on the topic of ‘fear’ and trying to turn them into tanka. An abstract term is a better theme for a tanka than a concrete one such as ‘water’, which is more suitable for a haiku.
The results were surprisingly effective. It seems that if we pick on a deeply personal interpretation of a theme, the sentences start to flow. It was in many ways a refreshing approach compared to the discipline of haiku, which seek to distil a moment in time and generally avoid personal references.
We have agreed to meet again at Café Bravo in Norwood on November 28 at 10.30am. This will be an informal get-together to celebrate the end of a difficult but creatively productive year! Julia will book the table in advance so we need to know exact numbers.