The Teacher Poet: A (very) Short Tanka Series

The gurus at Tweetspeak Poetry have issued the challenge of writing a resume as a poem. So here’s my resume, in case anybody is hiring:

The Teacher Poet by Joel E. Jacobson

high school student
interprets literary classics
said English teachers
I loved to hate

knowing little
about myself or careers,
the college plan
changed and changed and changed,
rough drafts to discover purpose

desert wanderer
working as a corporate trainer–
a teaching mirage?
Shouldn’t drinking be a symbol
for knowledge and a full life?

English teacher
responsible for classics
he read in his youth;
these graduates’ embrace
years later, understanding


A Few Tanka

Here are a few Tanka from my collection, Somewhere, Love.

winter hike
together we make tracks
snow angels
protect the fossil
of today’s memory

windshield wipers
glide across a glass dancefloor
erasing snow
the morning sun peeks-a-boo
brushing dust from cornfields

little sparrow
sitting atop budded tree
which composer
filled your tiny lungs
with such expressive tunes

after the rain
when vapor drifts skyward
a sun beam
glistens from behind your eyes
a kind embrace, reconciled

Press Release: Somewhere, Love: A Tanka Sequence by J.E. Jacobson

I would like formally announce the release of my latest poetry collection, Somewhere, Love.  I’ve been working on this project since February, and I can finally share it with the public.  I set out to write something special for my wife for after our first son was born.  I’ve heard of many cases of women having trouble feeling valued after they get home from the hospital and the husband goes back to work.  I wanted Sarah to have something tangible in her hands to know that I love her while I’m away at work.  The result is this book of poetry.

A tanka sequence is a collection of 100 tanka poems.  The tanka is to the Japanese what the sonnet is to the English and Italians.  Tanka poems are actually the predecessor to haiku.  Lovers in 800 AD Japan would communicate and respond via Tanka poems.  There’s more to the story, but you’ll have to read the book!

To get all the details, buy my book and read the introduction!