Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Was Your Summer?

I'm thinking of this post, in a good way.

Yesterday I was taught about tanka. Its lines have syllables of 5,7,5, and then 7,7. I wrote a few, still getting my feet wet. My friend and colleague Dan Rosen told me that he remembered the exacmple given when he learned of this form as a child. And here it is:

Now indeed I know
That when we said "remember"
And we swore it so
It was in "we will forget"
That our thoughts most truly met.
-Saigyo Hoshi

I posted that because it was my friend's example and struck him so - to the extent that he remembers the name of the author. It reminds me of the "Have nice summer! How was your summer? Have a nice Sukkos! How was your Sukkos?" - syndrome. It raises the question of what conversations mean to people. Are conversations a taking in of words, ideas, person? Are conversations an often awkward, often mindless passing of time? Is it somewhere between the two?

4 Comments:

Blogger Miriam L said...

Here's an attempt...


Wife to Husband

Words I say at night
Touch your hand asking comfort
Then a sigh and sleep
But in the morning I ask
If you paid the water bill.

August 28, 2008 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger kishke said...

Miriam! That's very beautiful and true.

Let me try to update yesterday's haiku into today's tanka:

Body, bone, brain, heart
Weary, aching, confused, full
Trying just to breathe
Come love, laughter, still moment
Weave a net to save my life

August 28, 2008 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Really nice guys - thanks!

Miriam - I love the details: hand touch, sig, water bill because they convey so much more thjan general words.

Kishka - Even better than the haiku alone - a true prayer. Sigh.

August 28, 2008 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger kishke said...

Thanks. The two-line ending took me about twice as long as the original haiku.

August 28, 2008 at 4:19 PM  

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