With few words, tanka set out images that have immediate emotional resonance and express a depth of feeling that longer forms cannot. My discovery as a Japanese is that this form transcends language; in this volume the reader can expect the same effect from these English tanka. Naomi and Sonja continue the tanka tradition of exchanging a depth and richness of feeling in their spare poetic exchanges. These exchanges are as subtle as wind or water – a continuous flow of feeling that touches gently at times and sharply at others. I was especially excited to see the Japanese traditions of utamakura (travel tanka) and honkadori, (poems alluding to old masters) come alive again in these conversations between friends.
Sumiko Nishizawa, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Modern Languages Kwantlen Polytechnic University