Class ended 538 days ago.

Imperial Court Tanka
Instructor: Alvin Thomas Ethington (AlvinTEthington)
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Start Date: Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
Duration: Four Weeks
Class Size: 7 Students
Seats Left: 4

Students will have the opportunity to refine a tanka sequence of their own in the Japanese Imperial Court style written either from the perspective of a man, of a woman, or as an interchange between the sexes. This course will examine what constitutive elements make up the romantic or seasonal poem sequences in the Japanese court style. Previous completion of the tanka course on this site is required. Limited enrollment.

Week I--Review of Tanka Principles. We shall discuss the importance of nature and seasons. The tanka techniques of ushin, conviction of feeling, and taketakaki yo, lofty style, shall be examined. Students will have an opportunity to write one tanka sequence based either on seasonal progression or the progression of a love affair.

Week II--Tanka Themes of the Imperial Court: Kokoro and Kotoba: the Importance of Heart and Words. Students will examine how to integrate kokoro, tone, treatment, theme, and emotion, and kotoba, diction, imagery, prosody, syntax, and beauty of phrasing and sound, into their poems and rewrite their poems accordingly.

Week III--Tanka Techniques of the Imperial Court: Makurakotoba, pillow words, and Kakekotoba, pivot-words. Students will examine how to integrate pillow words, words ambiguous in meaning which have imagistic or rhetorical potential, and pivot words, words whose series of sounds can have two different references at the same time, into their poems and revise their poems accordingly.

Week IV--Miyabi, Courtly Elegance. Here students will examine classic Japanese court poems and have an opportunity to submit a final draft of their Imperial Court Tanka Sequence to the whole class. The influence of kami no michi (the Shinto religion) and Buddhism will be discussed. After final revisions are made, venues for publication will be mentioned.


Instructor: Alvin Thomas Ethington
About The Instructor: Alvin Thomas Ethington (B.A. With Highest Honors, Oberlin College, 1979; M. Div. With Honors, Yale University, 1983) is a noted teacher, writer, and reviewer. He has taught at Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, California and Triton College, River Grove, Illinois. He prepared community college students for study at major private and public four-year colleges and universities, including Pitzer College, Claremont, California; the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and the University of Illinois-Chicago campus.

He is a published author and was recently honored for his haiku. His poem "haiku (empty chair)" is on the audio tour of The Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California, Poets on Site Tour.

He specializes in languages, culture, and religion. He has substituted for the Greek instructor at California State University at Fullerton and has tutored Biblical Hebrew.

He has been a member of FanStory since 2006 and has won Reviewer of the Month six times. He has also performed pre-publication editing for the former Bishop of Los Angeles, Episcopal (The Rt. Rev. Frederick Houk Borsch) and reviewed college textbooks.

His philosophy on teaching comes from his work as a counselor--he believes that teaching should be student-centered and designs his courses according to the students' needs.


Only $99.00
Includes a free two month upgraded membership! Details
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