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?


Anonymous Anonymous 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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