Young American Poetry Digest

Tanka Poetry Resources

A tanka is a form of Japanese poetry that consists of 31 syllables (5-7-5-7-7). Tanka poems usually focus on  topics such as love, nature, seasons, and friendships.

Line 1 – five syllables

Line 2 – seven syllables

Line 3 – five syllables

Line 4 – seven syllables

Line 5 – seven syllables

Student tanka poem from the 2011 Young American Poetry Digest

Gentle swaying tree

Artistic display of light

Moonlit leaves of green

Unimaginable scene

Makes my young heart leap with joy


Tanka Poetry Resources 

Syllable Count Lesson Plan

Japaneese Poetry – The Tanka

Examples of Tanka Poetry