Paul Hartal

Tanka About Redemption - Poem by Paul Hartal

We can reject love.
But if we choose not to love
We choose bitterness,
Despair and loneliness.
Our redemption lies in love.

Poet's Notes about The Poem


This verse follows the matrix of the Tanka, a genre of Japanese poetry. The word tanka means "short song". Tanka has a pattern of five lines constructed from 31 phonetic sound units, called ‘on-s'. An on can correspond, but does not necessarily equate to a syllable. The sound units are structured in the five lines this way: 5-7-5-7-7. The modern tanka developed from the classical Japanese romantic song of the waka. Its roots date back to the Heian period,794-1185. The Japanese poet and essayist Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) developed the tanka and the haiku as modern forms of classical Japanese literature.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 5, 2013

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