Purple Iris — Tanka Poem

Purple iris photo taken from my garden

I thought I had the perfect photo subject for this month’s purple theme in the Life in Color photo challenge, with this purple iris from my garden. It was difficult to get a decent shot with my phone camera. The sun was so bright that my screen looked black, and it was hard to tell what I was framing. After several attempts, I captured these two.

Yesterday, on a whim, I wrote a haiku about a tree on my street. After doing some reading on other Japanese poetry forms, I thought I’d try a tanka poem about my iris. A tanka poem has this pattern of syllables, 5/7/5/7/7.

Majestic and robed

in purple, the emperor

stands, dwarfed by his bright

entourage of attendants

brilliant in their regalia.

© 2021 Susan Joy Clark

We grow some Japanese varieties of iris, and it would be great to pair those with a Japanese poem, but they are not in bloom yet.

7 thoughts on “Purple Iris — Tanka Poem

  1. I could be pedantic and say the iris could be more violet than purple, but it is a minor detail and it is a very lovely shade, those attendants are very definitely purple! A great Tanka too! Thanks Susan.

    1. I think you are right about the color. I don’t always distinguish between purple and violet but really like colors all along that spectrum. Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for your nice comment. 🙂 I just visited your site and clicked to follow. I haven’t been to your corner of the world, but I really enjoyed watching “Doc Martin,” (in part because of the setting) and also recently watched “Fisherman’s Friends” which was filmed in Cornwall.

      1. It’s not easy to differentiate between purple and violet, I have just made it difficult for myself and others! As you say they are all lovely shades. Thank you for following my Cornish blog, hope you will find something of interest on it. It is a beautiful part of England.

    1. Thank you, Amy. We have some more opening up already since this was taken, including some different varieties. I’ll have to post some more iris and garden photos soon.

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