The Japanese began writing tanka over 1300 years ago, and, during Japan's Heian period (794-1185 A.D.), any civilized person was expected to be able to compose or add to a tanka series to commemorate an occasion.

The tanka form was used for passionate declarations and witty or sentimental commentary, and, in its modern form, it provides an ideal structure with which to express joy, congratulations, and blessings.

English speaking tanka writers typically divide the 31 syllables into five lines of 5,7,5,7, and 7 syllables, respectively.

Tanka: $30 for a single verse
(additional verses $15 each)

Sample Tanka from Articulate Gifts:

For Laura

Somewhere in the north
A woman is blossoming
Her grace unfurling.
And I, who once was her sun,
Wink from the south, a proud star.

-- A gift from Rebecca H. --

View Tanka Series Sample