I no longer can live in solitude at my little studio. The last several weeks I have spent in hospital and rehabilitation. Now I live in an assisted living setting. To everything, there is a season. Fortunately, I still have my computer and access, so I plan to continue this blog. I hopefully expect to continue to add resources and publications to this Tanka In English site. Inasmuch as I will not be sending off my new poems in submission for publication at any of my favorite fine tanka, haiku, etc., online and print venues, I will publish them by posting to Tanka In English. I hope you will follow my blog or check in from time to time for the latest. You are invited to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions, comments, and so on. — Denis M. Garrison
Modern English Tanka Press (aka MET Press) is my, Denis Garrison’s, small publishing proprietorship. MET Press did business from 2006-2019 publishing both print and digital editions of books of poetry, journals, etc., related primarily to tanka, haiku, and other eastern short forms. Today, my blog, Tanka In English, is all that remains of MET Press which will go out of business at the end of this month. The printing relationship with Lulu Press will be ended this month and no further print publishing will be undertaken. MET Press’s many titles will be available to varying degrees in the secondary market but I will not be involved in that market. I have no stocks of out-of-print MET Press books so, please, no purchasing inquiries. Beginning in 2020, Tanka In English will be my personal blog; nothing more. It is my hope to continue the blog indefinitely as an archive of many great poetic works and resources for the reading public and as a place for my new poetry to appear. I do not plan to send out poetry submissions to journals, anthologies, etc. any more. My progressively worsening health is the main cause of this wrap up of MET Press and general withdrawal from participation in the poetry community. I have had a fabulous time in Tanka Town and met many wonderful and creative writers and artists. Still, there always comes a time to go home from the fair.
cramped and dark
oh … how the memories
flash across its walls
Denis M. Garrison
JUN FUJITA, TANKA PIONEER was perhaps the first master of tanka poetry in English. His work is an important and foundational aspect of the English tanka heritage. Modern English Tanka Press takes great pleasure in making this fine poet’s work once again available to the reading public. It is posted at the More Great Books page of this blog. Read and download for free at this link: Jun Fujita, Tanka Pioneer.
I am home again after two heart operations. The experience brought to mind the title poem of my first book length collection of poems. It is not radically brief poetry, but still a personal favorite and now with a new resonance for me.
The Brink at Logan Pond
On Logan Pond, the rose gold sky in pines’
Embrace between the cedar-shrouded hills,
Now from the stained-glass stone-still surface shines,
Just wrinkling at the emptying of rills.
The heavens condescended on this cruel
And vacant stretch of wet, this verdant sink.
Beneath its jeweled face, this silent pool
Still craves the careless creatures from the brink.
Just pausing there, at water’s edge, I feel
The almost tidal pull of Logan Pond.
It tempts me from the land, to blindly reel
In wanton waves and break my earthly bond.
The gorgeous waste shall not see me descend.
I’ll stand my ground ashore until the end.
HAIKU WISDOM : Living the Principles and Philosophies of Kung Fu, Haiku and Nature by Don Baird has been archived here on the More Great Books page of the Tanka In English blog. From the Foreword: “The title of this book is Haiku Wisdom. Its secondary title is Living the Principles and Philosophies of Kung Fu, Haiku and Nature. While much of the book is drawn on the philosophies of martial arts and its centuries of wisdom, it isn’t limited to that. Haiku, themselves, are often written as clear witnesses of nature and her ways. When observed well and written objectively, the messages of nature readily reveal themselves to the reader. Philosophical surprises are around every corner. It simply takes the poet and reader to connect the dots; aha! … the reader walks away with new and wonderful insights of life and its mysterious ways and workings.” This outstanding collection is archived here by permission of the author. This is a great read. Read and download Haiku Wisdom for free here.
First Winter Rain: Selected Tanka from 2006-2010 , the best tanka by Denis M. Garrison from his first five years, has been posted at the Poetry of Denis M. Garrison page. This is the first edition of this collection. We thank Hansha Teki and Don Baird for providing a copy of the original PDF file which we had lost in a digital meltdown. Read and download First Winter Rain for free here.
LINKS & RESOURCES PAGE has been added to this blog which provides more than a dozen links and resources of use and interest to tanka poets, readers, publishers, etc. Today’s page is just a small beginning. It will be a continuous work in progress as we build up a useful page for our readers and contributors. You are invited to email me at email@example.com with active links you believe would be appropriate for tanka lovers and of wide interest among them. The blog menus in the header and in the right sidebar include links to the new LINKS & RESOURCES PAGE.
My beloved wife Deborah passed away last year. On the 27th of June this year we celebrated a memorial service on the anniversary of her death. Posted above are a few favorite photographs from her too-short life. You can read She Walked Among the Blossoms, the memorial collection of poems for Deborah, here online that I published last autumn. A few days before the anniversary memorial service, I wrote a longer poem in her memory.
Hand in Hand Eternally
As solemn as I was
When I asked your father for
Your hand in marriage,
How little did I realize
What a treasure he bestowed.
Over our years together
How many thousands of times
You gave your hand to me.
Your hand gently on my shoulder.
On my cheek, whether I wept or laughed.
On my lips, when I had said enough.
On my heart, to say, “I know.”
On my back, to give me strength.
On my knee, to say, “I’m here.”
And best— oh, best of all ! —
Your hand in mine, my love.
Now I raise my hands,
Although they ache with emptiness,
To our merciful God
In prayers of praise and thanksgiving
For His mighty and loving hands
That made ours and joined them forever.
Denis M. Garrison – In loving memory of Deborah Lynn Garrison, 1951-2018.
In addition to our links pages for || MET Journal || Tanka Teachers Guide || Tanka Anthologies || The Poetry of Denis M. Garrison || Haiga || our “MORE GREAT BOOKS“ page provides links for other books that are online here for you to read and download. Included, so far, are: * HAIKU HARVEST: Journal of Haiku in English * MEALS AT MIDNIGHT: Poems by Michael McClintock * ATLAS POETICA: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka * PRUNE JUICE: Journal of Senryu and Kyoka * MODERN HAIGA (2008 & 2009) * TAKE FIVE: Best Contemporary Tanka * AMBROSIA: Journal of Fine Haiku * CONCISE DELIGHT: Magazine of Short Poetry *
All of these works are included in their entirety and are free for you to read and/or download. There is more than one summer’s worth of reading here for your enjoyment. Go to “MORE GREAT BOOKS.“