Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dirty Word Tanka

equal for all
drops from the mayor's lips
I remember
fuck is a dirty word
that comes out clean

Note: This tanka is written in the style of Onihishigitei (demon-quelling force), a style that is characterized by its “strong or even vulgar diction.” (Robert H. Brower, "Fujiwara Teika's Maigetsusho," Monumenta Nipponica, 40:4, Winter, 1985, p.406). Here are tanka examples:

I cut off
my goddamn finger
to numb
my goddamn pain
snow falling on snow ...

NeverEnding Story, May 8, 2013

using few words
I carve the long face
of my critic
with bleeding eyes...
this Good Friday night

Atlas Poetica, 15, July 2013