Ask Jane 6
Would you please tell me just what is a tanka series and what is a tanka thread. I think I know what causes a thread but I am not sure of the series. Much appreciated.
I am glad you know what a "string" is because I only know that is Sanford's term for a series of connected tanka but am not sure what method of linking his term refers to.
The terms are often used interchangeably and almost no one pays any attention to the differences, but you are right, that writers should know what they are doing.
A series is a group of poems hooked thematically to the title or chosen subject. Usually there is no or little chronological pattern so the poems could theoretically be set in any order.
A sequence is a series of verses or poems that follow a sequence either in time or as narrative. In this case, each poem needs its precise place and has the function of moving the story or revelation forward. In more modern tanka sequences the relationship between the individual poems is based on linking as in renga. So again, each poem must be in a certain place as it gains meaning from its connection to the poem preceding and following it. For these reasons, a sequence is harder to write than a series.
From my understanding of rengay, it is a series of links all relating only to the title or theme. Though the name implies it is related to renga, it lacks the link-to-link associations.
I hope this helps you! Blessed be! \o/ Jane