Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writers’ Career Paths, Part 2: Peaking at the Beginning, Middle, or End?

The writer Joseph Heller published his first novel Catch-22 in 1961 at the age of 38. He went on to publish six more novels, as well as plays, screenplays, and two autobiographies. I have only read some of his later books, and Good as Gold was memorable, but I don’t think many readers would dispute that his first book was his best.

Joseph Heller with his family, not long after the publication of Catch-22
I knew Joseph Heller a little bit growing up. His daughter Erica and I were classmates and friends in our early teens. Joseph Heller was as funny as his books. Tall, broad-shouldered, he towered over most people. He used to describe himself as “The World’s Tallest Midget.” But I digress.

Publishing his best book first put Joseph Heller in excellent company. There was also Charlotte Brontë, who wrote Jane Eyre at age of 31 before any of her other novels. J.D. Salinger authored many good books, but I think the consensus is that his first book, The Catcher in the Rye, is the classic of all his works.

Why would a writer create her or his best book right at the beginning of a career, before that person has the experience, maturity, and craft to polish a work to a shining finish? Sometimes that first great plot or narrator’s voice that gets a writer on the page is so good, it just can’t be outdone. Many writers who write their best book first keep trying to recreate that magic, but hey—writing one great book is nothing to sneeze at! How many have done it?

More common as a trajectory for writers is to produce the best books in mid-career. One great example of this is Virginia Woolf. She published her first book, The Voyage Out, in 1915 at the age of 33. In my opinion, Virginia Woolf never wrote a bad book, but she certainly hit her stride in the middle of her career, when she published in succession Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando, (1928), and A Room of One’s Own (1929). That has to be one of the best four-year runs in the history of literature. Her subsequent novels were also good, but, in my opinion, not up to that amazing mid-career burst.

There are many other examples of writers who warm up with a few books of fair to middling quality, then write their masterpiece(s), and finish a career with works that don’t quite measure up. In his early years Leo Tolstoy wrote three autobiographical novels that are rarely read. Those were the prelude to War and Peace and Anna Karenina, which he penned in middle age, but didn’t equal again in his later years, despite his fame. 

It makes sense that peaking in mid-career is the most common path—at this stage, the writer has acquired some chops, and has begun to discover which themes are closest to the heart. Energy and originality are still relatively easy to access.

Another familiar example of this trajectory is Gustave Flaubert, who wrote Madame Bovary in mid-career. But the author Dorothy Bryant argues in her play Dear Master based on the correspondence of Flaubert and George Sand that all his previous work led up to the exquisite novella “A Simple Heart,” which he wrote toward the end of his life.

Dorothy Bryant
That leads us to the third type of author, one who is striving to write a certain kind of book all his or her years, and realizes that ambition after many false starts, only at the end of a career. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke authored books of poetry from his adolescence, but one could argue that his greatest period was a stretch of only a few weeks in February 1922, four years before his death, when two of his most celebrated books poured out of him, almost as if dictated: Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus. At least, that is the legend that Rilke promoted, which was good business, since it gave those two later books a special status.

George Orwell wrote excellent nonfiction from the start of his career, but only his devoted fans (like me!) read his early fiction. Right at the end of his life, though, he wrote both Animal Farm and 1984, his two most famous and widely read works.


One can also see the rationale behind the career that climaxes in a best book or books. It can take a whole lifetime to get it right, to assemble the toolbox that a writer needs to build the dream house, the work that brings together the themes that eluded the author at a less mature stage, with all the craft it takes to realize that blueprint.

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Deliver Your Message: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Writers’ Career Paths, Part 1: Prolific vs. Painstaking

I’m going to devote a couple of blogs to the different types of careers that writers can have. I’d like to start by talking about volume. There are some writers who are extremely prolific. They write almost every day, often for several hours. These writers spin out book after book. Other writers are extremely painstaking in their process. They sweat every adjective. If they produce one poem or one short story every few months, that’s a lot.

Here are a couple of poets who represent those two extremes.

The Japanese author Yosano Akiko (1878–1942) was renowned for her ability to write as many as fifty poems in one sitting. She wrote mostly five-line tanka poems, but still! In her lifetime, she is said to have written more than 50,000 poems. That’s an average of about three a day for her entire career. In addition, she was the author of eleven books of prose, including literary criticism, an autobiographical novel, and a translation into modern Japanese of one of Japan’s classics, The Tale of Genji. You might wonder if she was able to do this because she was a single woman who had no children. No, actually. Yosano Akiko gave birth to and raised eleven children. She must have been a hurricane of energy. 

Yosano Akiko
Here’s my translation of a poem by Yosano Akiko that I like a lot:

that hateful fan
endlessly wafting
sandalwood incense
in my direction—
I snatched it away

At the other extreme, there’s the U.S. poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979). I’m holding her book, The Complete Poems 1927–1979. It weighs less than a loaf of bread. Excluding her translations, it’s 228 pages, and even with her translations from Portuguese and Spanish, it doesn’t reach 300 pages.

Yosano Akiko lived to her 66th year; Elizabeth Bishop, 68. Roughly the same lifespan, but a difference in output of about 10,000 pages.

Who is the greater writer? Well, it’s hard to say. I don’t read Japanese, and only one book of Yosano Akiko’s has been fully translated into a European language. Claire Dodane translated into French the poet’s masterpiece, Midaregami, or Tangled Hair. Dodane’s translation is titled Cheveux emmêlés—same meaning in French. Yosano Akiko wrote this book about her scandalous love affair with the leading male poet of the day, Yosano Tekkan, whom she married and had such a large family with. The book contains 399 tanka poems, a fair sampling of her work in that form. Not every poem is a masterpiece, but there are a remarkable number of excellent poems, especially when you consider that Yosano Akiko wrote this book when she was 22 years old. But quite a few of the poems—I’d say the vast majority—are not at the same level as the best of the collection.

Elizabeth Bishop, on the other hand, must have produced endless drafts of her poems. She published only a handful a year, maybe 120 in her lifetime. Each poem is a sapphire, with every facet cut and polished. Is that a better way to write?

Elizabeth Bishop
I like to think that Elizabeth Bishop and Yosano Akiko wrote roughly the same number of pages of great poems, even though their output and process were so different. But that’s not necessarily the case. And who is in a position to make such a crazy calculation?

There are dangers both to being a prolific writer and a painstaking writer. The danger of being a very prolific writer is that quantity becomes so central that quality may never enter into the equation. Fortunately, that wasn’t true for Yosano Akiko. Some of her poems are bad, some mediocre, some great, some absolutely classic.

The danger of being a painstaking writer is that authors of that sort are such perfectionists that they sometimes never finish anything. Or if they do, what they produce is so precious that it lacks spontaneity and juice.

For some writers, a painstaking process works well, and is absolutely necessary to satisfy the perfectionist within. For prolific writers, the method is to set free all the thoughts and images and emotions and stories and then let the reader sift through and pick favorite pieces.

There is not a right or a wrong answer about how prolific to be. I think it’s a question of personality. Readers may have similar preferences, liking writers who are great stylists, or ones who can tell a good story. Personally, I enjoy the work of both prolific writers and painstaking writers.


Zack Rogow’s play, Tangled Love, about the life and work of Yosano Akiko, will be given a free public reading on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 8 p.m. at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in the Arts Building, room 150.

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Deliver Your Message: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thoughts on Literary Fame

Fame. It’s as irrelevant to good writing as sunny weather. Or is it the gold ring we’re all reaching for?

I was moved to write about fame because I’ve been listening during my commute to a collection of poetry on CDs called The Spoken Arts Treasury. This compendium of the writings and voices of 100 leading poets in the United States was released only 45 years ago, but I was shocked by how many of the poets who were considered necessary writers in 1969 are unknown today. I don’t mean that I’ve only read a couple of their poems. I mean that I had never even heard the names of a good portion of the poets in that collection.

The Greek goddess Pheme, source of the word "fame"
Maybe even more surprising is the fact that a collection released in 1969 did not include many of the poets of the U.S.A. whom we now consider to be some of the leading voices of the mid-twentieth century, such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg (too radical for that time), June Jordan, Adrienne Rich (who had already published her first Selected Poems in 1967), Anne Sexton, or May Swenson. In just 45 years, we have dramatically changed our sense of who the important U.S. poets of that time were. Many writers included in The Spoken Arts Treasury do continue to find readers: Elizabeth Bishop, e.e. cummings, Langston Hughes, Robinson Jeffers, Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams, etc. But it seems almost arbitrary which poets were included in this anthology.

The word “fame” comes from the name of the Roman goddess Fama, which in turn comes from a Greek word that just means “talk.” That in turn, is related to Old Church Slavonic bajati, but you already knew that. Hey, Zack, what is your point? The point is that fame is just talk, it’s not hard evidence of truth or quality.


Just because a writer is known today, or unknown today, does not mean that her or his reputation will remain that way. In fact, it’s almost a guarantee that tastes and readers will change, and that writers whose work speaks to a particular time and/or readership will vary in popularity, or maybe find new readers in a different time or place. We should not be intimidated by a writer’s reputation and feel we have to like that person’s work. On the other hand, we should appreciate writers who are not well known, but whose work we genuinely enjoy. In other words, trust your taste and your reaction to a work of literature, not the writer’s reputation.

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Deliver Your Message: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why a Thesaurus Is of Limited Use to a Writer

Sometimes a writer is on a treasure hunt for a particular word, a word that will clinch a certain passage. The French, of course, have a phrase for that type of word. They call it le mot juste, the exact right word. The author Gustave Flaubert was famous for finding le mot juste in his novels, such as Madame Bovary. But let’s say that, in this case, le mot juste is just not coming to mind, or if you can think of a word that has the right meaning, it’s too cliché. What do you do?

Many writers turn to a thesaurus. That reference work is a great bestiary of words, holding almost all the synonyms in the English language. The word literally means “treasury” in Latin—very appropriate.

I have nothing against thesauruses. I love just reading through them and seeing all the possible gradations of meaning that exist among different words that mean almost the same thing, and how those synonyms differ slightly in the contexts where they are used. In fact, when I was thirteen, one of my best friends nicknamed me Roget, I had such a crush on words.

The first English thesaurus was compiled by Dr. Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869) in 1805, but the book was not published until 1852. Dr. Roget was a physician from London who served as a human subject for the earliest experiments on the use of nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” which he also wrote about. 

Dr. Peter Mark Roget
His first collection of synonyms was titled, Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition. I’ll buy that a thesaurus can facilitate the expression of ideas, but I do believe it has limited use in literary composition.

Why? Because a word that a writer is seeking is almost never as obvious as a synonym of another word that a writer might reject as cliché. Le mot juste most often appears out of nowhere, a word that surprises, delights, or shocks the reader. A thesaurus will not help a writer leap across a chasm to that sort of word. At best, the thesaurus will help a writer step over a narrow puddle.

Here is an example from a poem that Sylvia Plath wrote right before her untimely death on February 11, 1963. The very last poem in her Collected Poems, dated six days before she died, is titled “Edge.” Describing a woman who has passed away, leaving behind her children, Plath writes:

She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

Interesting to thing about a mother incorporating her children back into her—or maybe the subject of the poem is gathering into herself a kind of childishness in a flight from the tonnage of adulthood.

Sylvia Plath
If Plath had used a thesaurus to find the right word in this passage, she could never have come up with the stunning phrase “the garden//Stiffens and odors bleed/From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.”

Normally, a writer might say that a flower’s scent wafts. But that’s a cliché. If Plath had cast her net wider and looked in a thesaurus under waft, she would only have found drift, float, be carried, etc. More clichés. You can’t get from tired language to more dynamic speech just with synonyms. A writer has to distort or wring the language till she arrives at something as vivid as a flower bleeding its odor. The search for le mot juste requires imagination, not just a reference work. Well, Plath might have gotten odor from a thesaurus. She could have started with the more conventional aroma or scent and then picked a synonym rarely paired with flower, because of its unexpected negative connotations. There, a thesaurus could be useful.

Another example. Three months earlier Plath had penned a poem called “The Childless Woman,” where she writes:

I spin mirrors,
Loyal to my image,

Uttering nothing but blood…


The usual verbs that describe emitting blood might be shed, ooze, spurt, seep, or trickle. (OK, I admit, I got this list from Roget’s Thesaurus.) But Plath goes so much deeper with the verb “Uttering”. The blood of this childless woman’s period is eloquent, it can speak of her emotions. Never could a thesaurus produce that result. It might even impede it. That’s why a writer has to be cautious in using a thesaurus. You can’t get deeper just by casting wider.

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Deliver Your Message: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka

Friday, May 2, 2014

Haruki Murakami and Globalization

I just finished listening to the audiobook of Haruki Murakami’s After Dark, a novel that takes place in the space of only seven hours in Tokyo. The plot follows four main characters and several minor characters from midnight to dawn of one day in the grungy downtown entertainment district. I didn’t like the novel as much as Murakami’s stellar The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, or his short stories in The Elephant Vanishes, but After Dark does have a couple of classic Murakami scenes where he is at his best, and those scenes alone make the novel worthwhile.

Haruki Murakami with jazz records
Murakami is a master at creating a situation where two characters encounter one another by chance and start talking deeply, and suddenly their hearts and thoughts spring open up in a way that is extraordinary and reveals surprising truths.

I love Murakami's writing, so I was quite surprised when I heard him taken to task at an international symposium on literature I attended a few years ago. At the Third Seoul International Forum for Literature in 2011, eminent Korean scholar Yu Jong-ho, professor emeritus at Yonsei University, criticized Murakami at a session where I also spoke on “The Globalizing World and the Human Community.” Though his criticisms of Murakami didn’t focus on the globalization of literature per se, Professor Yu’s comments appeared to me to be prompted in part by the Westernized cultural references in Murakami’s fiction.

After Dark is a prime example. Though the novel takes place in Tokyo, it begins in a Denny’s Restaurant. There are numerous discussions of music in the book, partly because one of the main characters, Takahashi Tetsyta, is an aspiring jazz trombonist. Almost all the music referred to in Murakami’s novel is from the U.S.A. or the U.K. All the food the characters eat is Western, from chicken salad (there are some hilarious bits about Denny’s chicken salad!) to tuna sandwiches to a fluffy omelet (which, like the love that develops between the two protagonists, is never actually indulged in).


One of the only things in the novel that is distinctively Japanese is a love hotel, not exactly what you’d call classic East Asian culture. Even the love hotel is named for a Jean-Luc Godard movie, Alphaville (sometimes After Dark seems to take place in the futuristic world of Godard’s Alphaville).

So, is this a problem that Murakami’s characters seem to move in a world where Japanese culture, so rich and venerable, no longer seems to exist? The references that Murakami’s characters make to vintage jazz tunes, which he knows extremely well (he once ran a jazz club in Tokyo), are fascinating to me, and they make his characters appealing and endearing, from my standpoint. I’m a huge jazz fan myself. I would never want Murakami to feature Japanese culture in a way that would Orientalize or exoticize his own country. Nor would I want to see Murakami respond in an extremely nationalistic and negative way to Westernization, in the manner of Yukio Mishima, for instance, perhaps the other best known Japanese novelist of the last three generations.


Maybe that’s part of why Murakami has immersed himself so deeply in Western culture, as an antidote to his country’s militaristic nationalism and to the conformist culture of the “salaryman” that has dug so deeply into Japanese life. But I can’t help but wonder why Murakami sees no precedents for his own rebellion within Japanese literary and artistic culture. What of the great poet Yosano Akiko, for instance, who defied expectations that she would continue to run the family business and fled to Tokyo from a provincial town in order to elope with her lover, the poet Yosano Tekkan? She was also a foe of the status quo. What of the poets of the Arechi or Waste Land movement in post-World War II Japanese poetry, such as the wonderful Tamura Ryuichi? Why doesn’t Murakami see his legacy through these and other Japanese writers? Has he become infatuated with the culture of the U.S.A. to the point where he can no longer see the strengths of his country’s own legacy?

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7, Part 8
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Deliver Your Message: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka

Friday, April 11, 2014

Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 8: When Is a Work of Literature Finished?

Some say never. James Joyce was notorious for correcting his books till the very last second before he had to turn them over to the publisher—and after. When Joyce’s novel Finnegan’s Wake was republished in 1945, four years after Joyce’s death, it appeared with a sixteen-page booklet of errata that Joyce had compiled after the first edition.

James Joyce
At the other end of the spectrum, there is automatic writing, where the author makes no edits. André Breton, creator of automatic writing, used this title for his guide to spontaneous composition in The Manifesto of Surrealism (1924):

SECRETS OF THE MAGICAL
SURREALIST ART

Written Surrealist composition
or
first and last draft

This approach to writings holds that the most spontaneous, least edited utterances are the most finished. Why? Because, according to this aesthetic, the closer we get to the bubbling spring of our imagination, the more perfect the results.

André Breton
That may be true for some writers—Jack Kerouac’s continuous roll of paper used to write On the Road comes to mind. (Someone should write a thesis on the connections between the Surrealists and the Beats!) But I think the law of averages is against spontaneity in literature. It’s like playing roulette and always betting on 22 black. You’ll win big every once in a while, but what about all the other times? How can you sustain that? In literature, as opposed to jazz, for example, spontaneity is hit or miss. More often, it’s miss. This may be because literature requires a critical and self-critical appraisal of the world and of one’s own writings.

In my own writing, I do countless drafts. I print out my work after each series of revisions because the human eye simply reads paper differently than it reads a computer screen.

At a certain point in the revision process, I realize that I’ve reached a spot where the changes I’m making are no longer improving the text. They are merely changing it. At this stage, I’m also switching things back and forth, inserting the same phrases I deleted earlier. When I get to this crossroads, I feel a work is done.

But I’ve also had the experience of thinking that one of my poems was finished, and then reading it in print several years later and feeling it really needed editing. I tweaked many of the poems in my book The Number Before Infinity when the second edition was released in 2014. Why? Years are like prescription lenses. They sharpen our vision.

I did notice when I reread my book before the new edition appeared that most of the poems I wanted to edit were not the poems I liked best. The poems that were my favorites, the ones I choose for readings, had assumed their final form more easily and earlier. Those I mostly left in peace.


I think each writer has to develop a personal sense of when a work is done, just as each writer has to develop a writing process. The answers will be different for different writers, just as James Joyce and André Breton, who were contemporaries, developed diametrically opposite writing methods around the same time, and both in Paris. These two writers were both fascinated by the subconscious and how it could reshape literature, but in Breton’s case, it was the spontaneity of the subconscious that mattered, while in Joyce’s case, showing the workings of the subconscious or superconscious involved a meticulous collage of words and fragments from a kaleidoscope of sources.

Other recent posts about writing topics: 
How to Get Published: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Getting the Most from Your Writing Workshop: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
How Not to Become a Literary Dropout, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10
Putting Together a Book Manuscript, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7
Working with a Writing Mentor: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
Does the Muse Have a Cell Phone?: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
How to Deliver Your Message: Part 1Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6
Why Write Poetry? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Using Poetic Forms, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2: The Sonnet; Part 3, The Sestina;
Part 4, The Ghazal; Part 5, The Tanka