Drawing the Heat of Embers

a piece of charcoal
in the hand of an artist
can perform magic
sketches of a charcoal fire
thaw the cold heart of winter

Kim M. Russell, 2016


Image found on Pinterest

My response to Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor 25th Teika’s 9th Tanka Writing Technique “Exquisite Detail” (prompt: charcoal)

Today Chèvrefeuille has presented Teika’s 9th Tanka Writing Technique ‘Exquisite Detail’ and the prompt ‘charcoal’.

Exquisite detail – komayaka naru tei is a style indicated by exact and precise details with often complex imagery. In Teika’s anthology of tanka styles he has 29 examples. One of which is one from the Kokinshū, #4:193:

tsuki mireba / chiji ni mono koso / kanashikere / waga ni hitiostu no / /aki ni wa aranedo

gazing at the moon
a thousand sad things
overcome me
not only I feel this
in autumn alone

Ōno Chisato (890-905)

in the meadow
peeling the leaves of daisies,
does she loves me?
dreaming In front of the fireplace
I look into the charcoal

© Chèvrefeuile

He also explained that, in a similar way to tea drinking, there were rituals and events surrounding the composition, presentation, and judgment of waka. There were two types of waka party that produced occasional poetry: Utakai and Uta-awase. Utakai was a party at which all participants wrote waka and recited them. Utaawase was a contest in two teams: themes were determined and a chosen poet from each team wrote a waka on the given theme. The judge appointed a winner for each theme and gave points to the winning team. The team which received the largest number of points was the winner.

7 thoughts on “Drawing the Heat of Embers

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