The Wreckage of Autumn

the tyrant autumn
hauls its ruinous wreckage
in a windy wake:
leaf skeletons, smears in mud,
final traces of colour

Kim M. Russell, 2016


My response to Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #28 Teika’s Tenth Tanka Writing Technique “Demon-quelling” (prompt: autumn departs)

Today Chèvrefeuille has brought us the last Tanka Writing Technique by Teika: demon-quelling – onihishigitei (or kiratsu no tei), characterized by strong or even vulgar diction and terms. Because its methods are at odds with the classical poetical values of beauty, elegance, and grace, Teika said the style was ‘more difficult’ and should be attempted only when the student has become proficient in the other methods. One of Teika’s examples is:

kamikaze ya / Ise no hamaogi / orishikite / tabine ya suran / araki hamabe ni

divine winds
reeds on the Ise beach
are broken
to make a traveler’s bed
on this rough shore

The goal is to create a tanka characterized by strong or even vulgar diction and terms, and the prompt for today is ‘autumn departs’, for which Chèvrefeuille has shared one of his own as an example:

broken branches
last leaves ripped apart
autumn departs
the first snow starts to fall
cuddling in front of the hearth

© Chèvrefeuille

6 thoughts on “The Wreckage of Autumn

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