And now, our prompt! Today I challenge you to write a tanka. This, like the “American” cinquain, is a poem based on syllables, with the pattern being 5-7-5-7-7. They work best when those final two 7-syllable lines contain a sort of turn or surprise that the first three lines might not wholly anticipate. You can string a bunch of them together to make a multi-stanza poem, or just write one!
To get you going, here’s an anonymous example from the Japanese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth:
On Komochi Mountain,
from the time the young leaves sprout,
until they turn red,
I think I would like to sleep with you.
What do you think of that?
A Tribute to Nanga Parbat !
O Nanga Parbat !
Glory of the Northern Mountains
Majesty of Creation
stony white symbolic strength
Wish to see you forever’