Last month, we spent time writing tanka poems, a form that originated in 7th century Japan and in many ways served as social poetry, with individuals writing chains of tanka known as renga, as well as lovers exchanging competitive morning-after poems. The 31-syllable poem is written in five non-rhyming lines in a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern.
Join in and learn to write your own with our fun and handy infographic.
Browse more Poetry Infographics
Browse more Poetry Teaching Resources
Browse more Tanka
Post and infographic by Will Willingham.
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland
- Earth Song Poem Featured on The Slowdown!—Birds in Home Depot - February 7, 2023
- The Rapping in the Attic—Happy Holidays Fun Video! - December 21, 2022
- Video: Earth Song: A Nature Poems Experience—Enchanting! - December 6, 2022
Donna Falcone says
LW I always love your infographics!
The idea of a chain Tanka is intriguing – reminds me of some spontaneous collaborative poems that have been birthed here on TSP. What is a “half Tanka?” Where is the correct spot for one collaborator to end and another to begin? Mid way through the third line?