Carpe Diem Tan Renga #23: Night Whispers

hands holding candle in heart-shaped candle holder

photo: Amana Images/Getty Images

melting into the sea
the full moon
leaves a candle bright 

(c) Jane Reichhold

soul’s flickering flame nourished
by pale love’s gentle breathing
(J. Milburn)

My attempt at a Tan Renga for Carpe Diem’s Tan Renga Challenge #23. The challenge is to create a second stanza of 7-7 syllables. Some explanation for those not familiar with these types of poems:

A Tan Renga looks like a Tanka, which is a poem that follows this (general) pattern:

First stanza:

Line 1 – 5 syllables

Line 2 – 7 syllables

Line 3 – 5 syllables (same as haiku)

Second stanza:

Line 4 – 7 syllables

Line 5 – 7 syllables

The second stanza serves to either contrast or augment the first, creating some type of connection. The difference between Tanka and Tan Renga is in the number of writers. Tanka are the work of a single writer, while a Tan Renga (again, generally) has two.

Here’s an example I found, courtesy of Japanese Poetry Patterns (to visit this site, please click on the link “Tan Renga” above):

around the pier
seagulls exchange pilings
we pause at chess
** Larry Gross
playing tag and leapfrog
the eight-week-old kittens
** Gail Teachworth

The link here, of course, involves similar motions taking place in each of three scenes, thereby drawing attention to similarities in very different life styles and even species: We all are very much the same. (credit: Larry Gross)

Clear as mud? Don’t worry! The links will help things become clearer. Head over to Carpe Diem and read other entries to help get some ideas, then take it in your own unique and wonderful direction 🙂

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn


10 thoughts on “Carpe Diem Tan Renga #23: Night Whispers

  1. clear as mud, indeed!

  2. Wonderful post Jeremy. You have said it so well and your completion is great … Thank you for sharing.

  3. A nice composition! I love ” soul’s flickering flame nourished” it flows off the tongue beautifully !

  4. awwww I missed this post somehow. Must have only shown up 18 times….
    This is really beautiful 🙂

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