The Trouble with Tanka-4

bleached driftwood
on the empty beach
and the white, white wind,
and the surf repeating to the sand
all those things you never said


stars glow like embers in your eyes,
you snuggle up to the arched hip
of the crescent moon-
the sky laughs softly,
how could I have believed you were mine?


leaves scatter
on marble tombs,
there’s a cold wind out tonight,
the cemetery gate still creaks, love,
come, bring the quiet and the wine

Fujiwara no Teika’s Tanka Technique 4: Conviction of feeling – ushintei, in which the poet approaches “the art with the utmost seriousness and concentration” and the speaker’s feelings pervade the imagery and rhetoric of the poem.
The Trouble with Tanka-3

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