Poetry rules


without knowing
you add colours to this earth
spread dreams around
without knowing
spread dreams around
you add colours to this earth
without knowing

Sharmishtha basu

How to write one:

Syllable count 5-7-5 Title 5-7-5
The title is used three times; remaining lines are repeated once- in the pattern above.



The rules of Tanka, the 5-line lyric poem of Japan –

1. Think of one or two simple images from a moment you have experienced and describe them in concrete terms — what you have seen, tasted, touched, smelled, or heard. Write the description in two or three lines.

2. Reflect on how you felt or what you were thinking when you experienced this moment or perhaps later when you had time to think about it.

In Japan, tanka is often written in one line with segments consisting of 5-7-5-7-7 sound-symbols or syllables. Some people write English tanka in five lines with 5-7-5-7-7 syllable to approximate the Japanese model.

You may wish to try writing tanka in this way. But Japanese syllables are shorter than English language syllables, resulting in shorter poems even though the syllable count is the same. To approximate the Japanese model, some poets use approximately 20-22 syllables and a short-long-short-long-long structure or even just a free form structure using five lines. You may wish to experiment with all these approaches.



10 thoughts on “Poetry rules

  1. thank you my friend for sharing the article and happy greetings of friendship and hopefully, when we share it with sincerity. Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

  2. This sort of poetry is about controlling your mind, isn’t it? Very easy to read but difficult to create.

      1. Yes, I do. I have three blogs actually. Poetry at sykik.wordpress.com. You might like some poems on it. Please visit.

      2. thanks a lot. i certainly will love to read your works, with great pleasure. its a good habit to add your blog URL in your comments, if you love to share your works. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s