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Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka (Volume 12) Paperback – July 8, 2012
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Joining those literary journals focusing on a poetry of place is "Atlas Poetica", a journal dedicated to exploring the human condition within its natural context through the poetic form the 'tanka'. The tanka was originally a Japanese form consisting of 5 lines of poetry having 5,7,5,7 and 7 syllables respectively in each line. A keen observer might note that the first three lines consist of 5, 7 and 5 syllables which is the traditional formula for the other related Japanese form, the haiku. Unlike the haiku, the rules are much looser regarding the composition of tanka and this probably explains both its rise in popularity among older haiku poets who have written haiku in English for a long time and also the increased lyricism associated with the tanka form which brings it closer to the western poetic tradition than the more austere haiku form can ever hope to be.
If you like poetry in small chunks, if you'd like to re-connect with the world around you and the people, wildlife and places who share our same planet, then you might want to consider buying an issue of this handsomely produced journal. Let me end this review by citing two tanka which, IMHO, are excellent examples of a poetry of place:
my breath catches
in the night cold of autumn
of things that will come
to end things that have been
The granite boulders
I love best are called erratics
down our broad valley
giant drunks doze in the sun
~Troutbeck, Cumbria, UK
Disclaimer: Atlas Poetica has published me in the past but I profit in no way by writing this review except, maybe, in the broader sense that if I help to gain new readers for tanka and the still evolving poetry of place, then I might in a small way have helped out in expanding the ecological consciousness we so desperately need if we hope to live in a world beyond just individualism and materialism.