Saturday, November 07, 2020

NeverEnding Story, October 2020

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:


the ocean
was in a rage last night
but today,
these peace offerings
of blue mussels and kelp

1st Place
2018 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest


Chen-ou Liu's Comments: (excerpted from commentary by judges Jessica Malone Latham and Neal Whitman)

The word "rage" has a long, storied history in literature. It is a universal emotion and, for sure, people have long experienced the rage of the ocean. How excellent we thought was its use in line two, rather than using a word such as "storm." We admired the use of a simple comma at the end of line three to give the reader a short pause to allow a moment to ponder, "What's next?" Ah, there is a resolution to the last night. Today? A peace offering to which we felt an "aah" moment. How welcome is the bounty. The ocean offers an infinity of treasures. We found the blue mussels and kelp to be a delightful choice made by this poet. We have already mentioned reciting tanka aloud to take in their sound. You might not choose to read out loud all nine of the awarded tanka, but this one, in particular, lends itself to deeper appreciation with its pivot at the end of line three. You might experience tranquility with lines four and five. We did...

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