Learning Poetic Forms

Slice of Life 2019: Day 20

This week in Creative Writing, my high school students were given the assignment to research various poetic forms and then return to class ready to teach the class about one specific type.

We had such a fun day learning about various types of poetry and then hearing each student’s exploration with that particular genre. I gave them several poetry websites to peruse. Then, they were to select one poetry type, study it, write a poem in this type and teach us how to do it. I provided links to every kind of poem from Spenserian Sonnets to Limericks.

I was the student today and it was marvelous. The students chose wonderful forms… not all haiku. We had students teaching the class how to write villanelle, acrostic, haiku, tanka, odes, sonnets, and simple rhyme poetry. Their examples were solid and thoughtful. After the presentations, everyone selected their favorite and wrote that type during workshop.

Since I had never experimented with tanka poetry, I decided today was the day.

Tanka is a traditional Japanese form like haiku, but with two additional lines. The tanka includes the figurative language of simile, personification, and metaphor in just five lines, each with alternating syllabic lengths of 5, 7, 5, 7, 5. Nature is usually the topic of tanka poetry. Below is my first try:

Pink Dogwood

Blooms blushing in March

Taking instructions from the sun

A flush of fuchsia

Like cotton candy at a fair

Disappears quickly

SPRING Acrostic

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 6.09.23 AM

6 thoughts on “Learning Poetic Forms

  1. I very much like your tanka! I really appreciate the way you linked the fleeting nature of the fuchsia of the flowers to cotton candy, which hints at your own longing and a sense of nostalgia. Well done for your first attempt!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much to celebrate in your slice! I’m sure your students loved teaching their peers and you as much as you loved being their student. I like your “Blooms blushing in March.”

    Liked by 1 person

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