Summer

A three-winter year.
My heart a wistful migrant
Not lacking the sun,
But feeling the seasons’ rhy-
thm has skipped a fruitful beat.

It’s odd changing hemisphere halfway through the year. I feel I’m being cheated, having three winters in succession. And yet that’s silly. Here the sky is flawless blue almost every day, and the sun is fierce even if the air is bitterly cold. There is clearly something else I’m missing. And this tanka tries to put it into words.

This was one of those times when you line up the perfect number of syllables, but they refuse to fit the line breaks well. In the end I deliberately broke up the word “rhythm”. Which gives an effect that it would be difficult to convey in reading aloud, but I think works in the written form.

The version below is a proper tanka, without this word break, but I don’t think it works as well. Thoughts?

A three-winter year.
My heart, a wistful migrant
Not lacking the sun,
Feels that the seasons’ rhythm
Skipped a sweet and fruitful beat.

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4 responses to “Summer

  1. Honestly, I like the 2nd version a whole lot more as you didn’t use the progressive verb as you did with the first (“feeling”), which to me, throws off the rhythm kind a bit.

    I haven’t written a tanka for years (I think I’ve written a couple in my lifetime), so I’m not really well versed in it. I wish I could be more of a help to you though!!

    I think the second one’s a keeper as I like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, thank you so much for visiting my poetry journal on Livejournal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I will agree with a~lotus…I think it is an excellent work either way. You’ve read my stuff, and as you know, my structuring is rather chaotic.

  3. Hi Lirone. Personally, I find that word breaks between lines tend to detract from the flow. So the second one works better for me, ’cause I like words that flow.
    —–
    Ok. During that pause I just inserted, I went back and read again. I see that the ‘rhythm’ has skipped a beat! I take it back. The first one works perfectly too.

  4. Thanks for this interesting feedback. I am starting to like the second one better for its other word choices, but do quite like the effect of breaking the rhythm!

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