Quivering arrow.
Taut bowstring discharges, and sings.
Its pulse strikes my hands,
and trembles a bashful beat.
A symphony in each breath.


Xi Li
St Cuthbert’s College

From the author:
I crafted my tanka to express the nature of music because tanka’s syllabic limits allows me to capture its nuance, where each word is vital. While tanka and haiku both share syllable limitations, I chose tanka for its emotional depth. Interestingly, tanka translates to “short song,” echoing the musical sensation I felt through a drawn bowstring.