Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Projekto Tanka #12

Esperanto is a language crafted for peace. It's about ten times easier to learn than other languages and has a lot less of the baggage of colonialism that English lugs around with it.

I love the English language, but think that you get so much more from the world if you can see it through another language too, so I've been learning Esperanto lately, and here's the first of my Esperanto tankas.

This is loosely based on Tanka #1: I seek to conjure, although due to there being more syllables in Esperanto, and more simple language, I've reduced it down to being a poem about summoning Autumn through an imagined painting of the leaves.

Esperanto estas lingvo kreita por paco. Ĝi estas proksimume dekoble pli facila pli ol aliajn lingvojn. 

Mi amas la anglan lingvon, sed mi pensas, ke oni vidas pli multe de la mondo kun alia lingvo, do mi lernis Esperanton lastatempe, kaj jen estas la unua el miaj Esperantaj tankaoj. 

Ĉi tio estas inspirita de tanka #1.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Tanka Project #11: Moonlight

Today's tanka is a shorter version of another poem of mine, inspired by women coming together through the ages.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Tanka Project #10:Favourite

The photo prompt for the Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day challenge the other day was 'favourite'.

Favourite is a contentious issue in my house. Miss 7 is desperate for me to admit that she's my favourite and Miss 10 is annoyed that I always describe her as my favourite 10 (or 9, 8 etc) year old. 

I know some parents have favourites, and truth be told there are moments when I find a child particularly lovely, or particularly not, but surely a favourite has to be more sustained than that? If so, then I could not possibly say, not even if you hypnotised me!

Just a quick note to my favourite sister before you get to the picture... I know you hate fish, and I'm sorry.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Tanka Project: Guests

I'm trying to make the Tanka Project Instagram page look all fancy and professional, but I keep posting things in the wrong order! Anyway, I have had a chance to repost some absolutely luscious poems from other Instagram users, so I thought I'd share the first three of those here just for you.

Gary's tanka is really interesting, raising images in my mind, I especially love the way he leaves it with the dancing after the music.

Debora's tanka comes with a beautiful image, and I love the way she uses the imagery of the low fog to discuss mood. This tanka has such a morning feel for me.

Last up today is Eric, whose cute drawn birds beautifully complement his meta poem about poetry and togetherness. It drew a smile to my lips because I am forever counting when I'm tanka-ing. 12345, 1234567, 12345... I count with the fingers on my right hand against my thigh. I start with my little finger. My brother and I were talking about poetry because of the Tonka Tanka and he told me he doesn't get poetry - there are always meanings hidden away and it just feels like work. Personally I love a bit of that, although sometimes it can seem to be a little obtuse (and I know I can be guilty of that myself), but here Eric keeps it beautifully simple with the polychromatic lenses of his words. That's all it is - a wee focus.

Many thanks to Gary, Debora, and to Eric for being my first Tanka Project guests. I hope you've loved their work like I did.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Tanka Project #9: Tonka

My Dad challenged me to write a tanka about a Tonka truck. I was going to ignore this challenge, but then he got his friend to publicly shame me into it on Facebook. So here you go father and friend. 😝

My brother had a Tonka truck when we were little. I thought it was yellow, my Dad thought it was red. My brother says it was red and yellow.

Nobody has it anymore, and it's not in any photos I can find (I have looked for the amount of time you spend on these projects when you should really be doing something more useful), but that was a really good, sturdy, truck. I've definitely attempted to use it as a skateboard when my feet would fit in it, I've also loaded it with animals, Sindy's, and of course, lots of stones. It was the kind of toy you look at and declare that they don't make them like that anymore.

My brother is pretty awesome too. He started off as my little brother. Now he towers above me. He's had plenty of health issues, including collecting allergies, which is still a rubbish collection IMHO, but he's still someone who can be relied on to crack me up. Love you UE.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Tanka #8: Ada

I wrote this poem on Ada Lovelace day, which was the 10th October this year. I figured I'd find out more about Ada as all I really knew was that she was Lord Byron (the philandering poet)'s daughter, and one of the first computer programmers.

I have just dragged myself out of the rabbit warren of finding out about Ada. Why haven't I seen a film about her? Ada came from a seriously messed up family, and was pushed into mathematics and science by her mother (with the help of some brilliant tutors), who was desperate that she shouldn't inherit what she saw as her father's madness and moral depravity. I am using the word 'father' loosely here, he was more of a sperm donor really.

Go google Ada, she's fascinating.

Anyway, one of the things that Ada turned her attention to was flying. She really wanted to be able to fly, and looking at the way she lived, with her mother having her watched by her friends to look out for failing morals (Ada dubbed them the Furies), and with constant provision of tutors to help guide her away to science... Ada's mother even provided a tutor for Ada's own children, who was also supposed to provide Ada with 'moral instruction' (he tried to have an affair with Ada, she sacked him)... anyway, with so much to control her, and her mother pushing her into this male dominated world where anything other than iciness had her accused of moral failure, with all that, I'm not surprised she wanted to fly. 

She did lots of research into it, really good, painstaking research. Perhaps if she had lived longer and her mother hadn't, she could have flown.

Here's today's tanka.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Tanka #7: Angle

The Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day prompt the other day was 'angle', and it set me thinking about the Angles who once invaded Britain, transforming it into the divided nation it is today. They did this by pushing out the Britons - the Celtic peoples living on the island, to the north, south, and west, to form the various Gaelic speaking nations, while they themselves took over the land which took their name (later England with a wee vowel shift). The Angles used a really good weapon called a seax - they were so well known for using this weapon that they got known as the Saxons (people of the seax). It wasn't an axe, although I've made it one with a little poetic licence, but a sword or dagger, whose name came from a word meaning to cut. The word scissors comes from the same source.

Anyway, my family probably has mixed origins - don't we all - but as I was born in England I'm assuming for the sake of this poem that I'm an Angle (but secretly imagining I'm part Celt, part Viking):