Friday, August 02, 2019

Ekphrastic Tanka

Our challenge this month is to take another try at writing ekphrasitc poems of any form, this time in response to the photos taken by my friend Sara. On a trip to Israel she took this amazing photo of the Bell Caves of Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park. I've written a series of Renga poems. Renga is an old Japanese form based on Haiku, usually played by more than one person in a back and forth game. One person does a 17 syllable poem and the next person answers with a 14 syllable couplet, and so on in a chain. In this case I wrote the haiku one day and came back a few days later to respond with the couplets.





Cool roundness of dark:
stone walls curved unto themselves,
light an upturned bowl.

Unseen skillful hands hewed rock,
leaving caverns filled with air.

Rock wrapped around rock:
darkness the core, the curved crust,
light the space between.

The bell an empty cup of
sound, luminescent choirs call

subterranean
summer evenings seeking chill.
Ancient singing echoes still

smoothed as if by water flow,
rock holds the brilliant blazing.
                                 -Andromeda Jazmon

My Poetry Sisters have all written amazing poems in response to Sara's photos. Check them out:


Liz 
Sara 

And don't forget to enjoy Poetry Friday at Heidi Mordhorst's blog My Juicy Little Universe.

3 comments:

Molly Hogan said...

This is beautiful! Thanks so much for introducing me to renga. I love the interplay between the haiku and the couplets, and the line "light an upturned bowl." You use such beautiful precise language and left me feeling as if I'd spent some time in that cavern, surrounded by blazing light and echoing song.

Sara said...

Oh, my word, Andi....I thought your haiku couldn't get any more lovely, and now THIS. Stunning. Evocative. Takes me right back to standing in the peace and glory of that cave. Thank you.

Kay said...

What a stunning photo Sara took! Your poetic response lives up to it. I like the idea of writing in response with haiku and couplet.