Rain in November –
Looks, sounds, smells, and tastes just like
Rain from other months –
Except it’s a lot colder –
And in more ways than one, too!
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.
Notes to this poem…
I recently found out about the Japanese “long” form poetry called the tanka. It’s basically a specific 5-7-5 syllable haiku, followed by a couple of 7-5 syllables. It should also use simile, metaphor and personification. Tanka poems should be written about nature, seasons, love, sadness and other strong emotions, and dates back almost 1200 years ago.
Today, in a lot of rain, I composed my first tanka. It was indirectly inspired by the Guns ‘n’ Roses song, November Rain (see video at bottom). I was not inspired by the song, but had always wondered if its title about rain in November was a metaphor for something. Well, the lyric has its meaning, but there was no expression it referenced regarding “November rain”. Without knowing that answer, though, until writing notes currently, I wondered how November rain might have been different, and if I could, indeed, figure out what GnR were talking about if they were indeed referencing an expression.
This first tanka of mine was the answer, with the play on words at the end to mean feeling physically cold, as well as emotionally cold.
The poems titled Tanka, followed by a number, are tanka composed while I was not engaged in some activity during which I frequently composed poetry. That is why these are called the Inactive Tanka collection.