Tanka is haiku that focuses on nature and season, but is a bit longer than the traditional haiku of three lines with 5-7-5 syllables. A tanka consists of five lines for a total of 31 syllables.  The syllables per line are according to the pattern 5 -7 -5 – 7 – 7.

Here is a tanka I wrote for a chapter in Broken Dolls, and is a metaphor for a love that is begun, though the lovers know it can never continue:

A caterpillar weaves

 its cocoon, where a lovely

butterfly grows. Though

all the while, it knows too well,

its end will come too soon.

Any haikus or tankas about butterflies out there?

This entry was posted in Life, Love, Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Butterfly

  1. Mike says:

    A lovely tanka Jan. Funnily enough I wrote a tanka on my blog back in August, here it is –

    was that a butterfly
    passing by so fleetingly,
    or just another day
    for dreams to fade to nothing,
    hope again to lose its way

  2. janmorrill says:

    I always look forward to your haiku, Mike, and now I’ll look forward to your tanka, too! Beautifully captured butterfly moment.

  3. I actually raise butterfly caterpillars I find in my garden (so they don’t get eaten), but surprisingly have written only one haiku about them:

    Butterfly quivers
    Just hatched, her wings still wet
    My mind soars

I love to read your comments, even more, your HAIKU!

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