Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chaos Never Dies Day

In the dark
of the night I come
and leave when the
dark is no more and
only the light stays

This little poem was written in a different life when I was 16. It was supposed to be a tanka.

A tanka is similar to a haiku in that its structure is dictated by the number of syllables. I was taught it was composed of five lines with syllable units:3-5-4-5-5. My friend Kathy, who is a poet and manages several regular poetry readings at Barnes & Noble locations in the Dallas area, told me the syllable structure is actually 5-7-5-7-7.

The poem reflects the end of chaos, but it needs additional syllables to be a true tanka. I always thought it was simple and clear, and I enjoyed writing within such a strict structure. Now I learn it is incomplete -- what am I to do? Where will nine more syllables go? Will it change or obscure the meaning? Wait -- it is about the end of chaos, but it is creating its own little chaotic wave, so I post it today: Chaos Never Dies Day

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