These Audacious Maples

A Book of Tanka

by Paul O. Williams



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 2/27/2007

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 48
ISBN : 9781425747053

About the Book

Paul O. Williams has been writing and publishing for about forty-five years, but tanka only about twenty. This is his first book of tanka. It consists of ninety-eight poems on a variety of subjects, each one headed by a Roman numeral, eleven in all. Although tanka originally came from China and was adopted by the medieval Japanese nobility as a form of love poem, the form now is used for a many subjects. This collection does vary its subjects. Tanka as a form is brief, but not so brief that the writer can’t say anything, can’t make a comment on the nature of things, convey and impression, explore a feeling, state a longing, verbally pet a cat, sniff a cooking turkey, or growl about a disgruntlement. The writer just can’t wax eloquent on whatever it is being talked about. One can’t be expansive in five lines. One has to get into the poem and get back out of it. The attempt is to make its brevity a virtue. Like all forms of poetry, tanka is intended to delight and surprise. It ought to be like someone who knocks against the chair you are sitting on the edge of, nearly upsetting you--not quite, but certainly jostling your equilibrium, momentarily at least. Each poem should shake the reader up a little, be a little mental sneezing powder, a sudden scent of apples, a light rush of wind, a door opening into a lighted hallway, a gust of Mozartian piano music, a discovery of something new you realize you have always known. So each poem should be read separately, surrounded by a little mental silence so it can be absorbed before the reader moves on. With this in mind, this book is one you ought to enjoy.

About the Author