Tantalizing: A Tanaga

Tantalizing speaking eyes, serve as windows.
Reveals unspoken letters, mouth always swallows.
Mine’s made of transparent glass, why it failed to show?
My hunching, hiding being, we, humans call soul?

Photo credit: Unsplash

In response to OctPoWriMo 2016 by Morgan Dragonwillow‘s Day 6.

The Tanaga is a Filipino stanzaic form that was originally written in Tagolog which to my ear is one of the more musical of languages. (Kumusta ka? Mabuti salam at) The form dates back to the 16th century and has an oral tradition. The poems are not titled. Each is emotionally charged and asks a question that begs an anwer. This form was found at Kaleidoscope.

The Tanaga is:

  • stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
  • syllabic, 7-7-7-7 syllables per line.
  • rhymed, originally aaaa bbbb cccc etc., modern Tanagas also use aabb ccdd etc or abba cddc etc or any combination rhyme can be used.
  • composed with the liberal use of metaphor.
  • Untitled.
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34 thoughts on “Tantalizing: A Tanaga

  1. I loved this, beautiful word choice. You definitely painted a picture with them. I knew Tanaga was Filipino word, I didn’t know it was a writing style…I like it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reveals unspoken letters, mouth always swallows.

    I’m really taken with the interplay in this line. Letters unspoken from a mouth that swallows. Smart and clever, sister! As is the tension in the (whole) poem between what is revealed and what hides.

    Liked by 1 person

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