Do you know the acronym T.I.L.?

While the exact origin of “TIL” as the three-letter acronym for “today I learned…” remains unclear, the phrase itself most likely began seeping into everyday online vernacular through its usage on social news aggregation sites Reddit and Digg sometime in April 2007, according to Google Trends. [source]

If you didn’t know TIL before now, now you can say TIL: TIL.

As for me, TIL a bit more about tanka poetry from Colleen M. Chesebro, aka The Fairy Whisperer. All I knew about tanka before today was the syllable count (5-7-5-7-7). Here’s a snippet from Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday post this week:

Tanka poetry should be written in the first person from the point of view of the poet….The last two lines in a Tanka are where we use metaphors and similes that should complement the first three lines.”

Today’s challenge proffers the prompt words ‘guess’ and ‘play’, but requires participants to use synonyms rather than the prompt words themselves.

What follows is my first effort, using ‘suppose’ and ‘show’.

The Show


You know, I must suppose

the ins and outs of this stage

(where the trap doors are…) –

you’ve trodden these boards before –

won’t you teach me their secrets?

While I’m fairly happy with this poem, I’m thinking that it does not follow very closely the tanka tradition Colleen describes, as the final two lines are not constituted of supporting simile or metaphor. Let me try again bearing this convention in mind.

We could be lovers

By your wild eyes, I suppose…

How they flit and dance

A twirling gypsy skirt flip

A cat peeking from a purse

In this one, I use ‘suppose’ again for ‘guess’ and a less common form of ‘play’:

to move lightly and quickly, so as to appear and disappear; flicker.
“a smile played about her lips”
synonyms: danceflitripple

Thank you, Fairy Whisperer. TIL a tanka tradition!