Tanka: First crow

A tanka for Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge.


white fields hoarfrost-crisp

beneath a wan winter sun

waiting for release

black against so much whiteness

crow—its call echoes darkly


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

36 thoughts on “Tanka: First crow”

  1. I really like this tanka. It flows so well–something I don’t think I achieved. I really like that first line, and the contrast between the white frost and the dark crows. But it’s funny that we both wrote a tanka and had echoes. 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m never sure about tanka. I read somewhere that you ought to be able to read it as a single five line poem, but that the third, fourth and fifth should make sense on their own. Also, the last two should look at the theme from a different perspective. If I get a five line poem that keeps more or less to the theme, I think myself lucky! I’ll go read yours now.

      1. On Christmas day visiting Grand Canyon, on the parking lot of Desert View saw a flock of crows (or may be ravens). One of them was perched on the top of a tree and from its looks it felt to me that as if the crow was an eagle, monarch of all it was surveying. The thought that went through my mind was that certainly the crow did not care that its color was jet black or it had any resentment about its looks. I have a good photo that I will share one of these days.

      2. Do post the photo, I’d like to see it. They do have a proprietorial sense about them, when they flap over open land, crying as if it all belongs to them and they don’t care who’s listening.

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