The World Disguised as This One: a year in tanka, is the culmination of a year writing and a few months of editing this one new work by Mimi White. It is part of a collaboration between two Australian artists and the author to create an exhibit at the ANITA TRAVERSO GALLERY 7 Albert Street Richmond 3121 Melbourne Australia.
Mimi White explores new forms with her sensitive poetic reach in language and vision, often mixing the natural world and the human condition together to express the mysteries of life as a sense of those things that cannot be seen.
Her achievements include: teaching creative writing for twenty-five years; Co-Director of PicturePoets of AIR, a non-profit organization that provided enriching arts and cultural experiences to teenage girls; A finalist and a recipient of a NH State Fellowship in Poetry, her chapbook The Singed Horizon was selected by Robert Creeley as the recipient of the 2000 Philbrick Poetry Award; Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire 2005-2007; in 2009 her book The Last Island received the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book Poetry.
About the book:
Praise for The World Disguised as This One: a year in tanka
This beautifully observed, penetrating collection of tanka slips itself into and under awareness. A narrative holding equally an illness’s navigation and the abiding, altering beauty of existence, each five-line poem is complete in itself, a world presented in full. Yet in reading these pages through, their accumulation leads to a shifted landscape of being. As life itself does. —Jane Hirshfield
One of the oldest Japanese forms, the tanka (or waka) originated in seventh-century Japan. Perhaps less well known to Western audiences than the haiku, it predates this form by several hundred years. The tanka usually contains thirty-one syllables or sound units, nearly double the haiku’s seventeen. Like the haiku, the tanka’s central image is taken from nature, but a shift almost always occurs when that image is recast through a more personal lens. As Yoel Hoffman writes in his introduction to Japanese Death Poems, “The tanka poet may be likened to a person holding two mirrors in his hands, one reflecting a scene from nature, the other reflecting himself as he holds the first mirror.”
About the Tanka
This book contains a yearlong devotion to writing tanka. The tanka is a Japanese form that is inspired by the seasons yet also contains the human spirit. It predates the haiku by several hundred years. Tanka today are often rendered in five lines, which I adopted. I took liberties with the thirty-one-syllable count while I paid closer attention to brevity and letting the natural image convey the emotional life of the speaker. Posted here will be the statements and some photos.
Below are the statements for the exhibit