What is Tanka?
When we write tanka in
we usually use five lines. As for syllable counting, I personally like
to use about 20 English syllables because this shortness is very close
to Japaneses tanka. If you don't like to count syllables, just count
words. Use 10 ~ 15 words, or up to 20 words at maximum. In the past,
English tanka were often composed using 31 English syllables, but
today's English tanka are much shorter.
The five lines can be
arranged in a short/long/shorft/long/long pattern following the
Japanese tanka's 5/7/5/7/7 syllable sequence. This sequence is very
rhythmical in Japanese, and if you feel the short/long/short/long/long
pattern in English very rhythmical, you can follow, but not required