Book Review: Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 1
Book Name: Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 1
Author: Book compiled by M. Kei and team
Genre: Poetry, Tanka
Hardcover: 240 pages
Published in 2008 by MET Press
Rating: 5 stars
Short Review: An eye-opener to the world of tanka, this book is informative, insightful and with an interesting collection of tanka prose and poetry.
Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 1 is a collection of tanka from across a hundred venues, fourteen thousand submissions, and 138 authors. This book contains approximately 321 tanka, in addition to many tanka sequences and prose.
The interesting part about tanka, as observed by the editors, is the disparity in limitations of this form and their marvel at ‘what could be accomplished in five lines’. While there are tanka that stick to the formal 5-7-5-7-7 format, or the short/long/short/long/long form, there are many tanka in this series that are informal and dwell upon the obvious fact that tanka does not need a strict form to be whole, effective and poignant.
Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 1 says it best when describing tanka: “This is tanka's great power: five phrases are a complex and detailed structure that can be manipulated in hundreds of ways to achieve the poet's goal.” This book takes the reader on a delightful and invigorating trip through the many tanka poems, which are either in individual, prose or sequence form.
I would personally recommend this book; not for its insightful information about tanka and the qualities a good tanka may possess, but for its ability to take the reader on an interesting trip where the mind and heart experience the depths of amazing and moving tanka.
an old love letter
I treated her
with such care
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