In this Inanna blog Ilona Martonfi, author of The Tempest introduces Tanka. “TRAINS” p. 20. A blurb by H. Nigel Thomas. Collage Poetry: Ezra Pound’s “CANTOS”. Word of the day: Hurucane, (Demon-spirit of the wind). Sonic hurricane for piano and tape (Youtube). Codex Faenza. Moonflower. Slough Slog. Turtle Island (Native American Folklore). How to Host a Virtual Book Launch. Offering a Free Verse “TOTENWALD” published in The Tempest p. 5. A Prose Poem “PA-HAY-OKEE (Grassy Waters)” p. 66.


Tanka refers to a Japanese 31-syllable poem, traditionally written as a single, unbroken line. The word “tanka” translates to “short song.” Tanka also use many literary devices, including personification, metaphors, and similes to allow ample visualization. Midway through a tanka, there’s a change in perception, the volta. In a haiku, there’s typically a “turn” between lines two and three. The change occurs as a transition from examining an image to examining a personal response.
—Tanka From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


my people in acrylic
making their way on Earth
the wandering exiles
I mix sand with pigment
underline the dust-to-dust

haunting the canvases
are wolves I imagine chasing
trains over the steppes
with our rags and bundles
deported during the war

Praise for The Tempest

“Nowadays what sometimes passes for poetry is actually prose. Such a charge can never be made against Ilona Martonfi’s poetry. Oftentimes, in constellations of images that eschew verbs, these poems are keen reflections of much that ails humanity. Whether dealing with the abuse of innocence, refugees of war, oppression of women, mental illness. Martonfi embodies her themes in imagery and metaphor that are linked to the time and place that sparked her imagination. These poems are a visual delight that give way to an inevitable contemplation of the complexity of humanity.”
—H. Nigel Thomas is the author of four novels, three collections of short fiction, and a collection of poems.

book cover with a multi-colour labradorite background (green, yellow, orange). With white block typography against a black banner in the middle of the cover: "The Tempest" and "poems by Ilona Martonfi".

The TempestInanna Publications

Collage Poetry

From the French coller, meaning to paste or glue. In visual arts, a technique that involves juxtaposing photographs, cuttings, newspapers, or other media on a surface. Widely seen as a hallmark of Modernist art, collage was first developed in the early 20th century by Pablo Picasso and other Cubists. Collage in language-based work can now mean any composition that includes words, phrases, or sections of outside source material in juxtaposition.

An example is Ezra Pound’s Cantos use the technique.

Unwept, unwrapped in sepulchre, since toils urged other.
“Elpenor, how art thou come to this dark coast?
“Cam’st thou afoot, outstripping seamen?”
          And he in heavy speech:


Word of the Day: Hurucane

The use of improvisation in HURUCANE represents a possible common denominator between the Codex and modern jazz.

The word Hurucane comes from a Taino Native American word meaning “demon-spirit of the wind.”  When the pianist Blair McMillen, to whom this piece is dedicated, asked me to write a piano piece inspired by the Faenza Codex, I thought of creating a sort of giant sonic hurricane within which both ancient compositional modalities and modern electronic sounds could co-exist and become integrated. The use of improvisation in HURUCANE represents a possible common denominator between the Codex and modern jazz improvisation. Reworking, revisiting, reinventing: these words can help us understand the mindset of a composer transforming and excavating the ruins of his musical memory to recreate an entity of sound.
—Fabrizio De Rossi Re HURUCANE (demone dello spirito del vento) aprés Faenza Codex (2005) for piano and tape – to Blair McMillen https://youtu.be/RvAHh8tzxF4

Codex Faenza

The Codex Faenza (Faenza, Biblioteca Comunale 117) abbreviated as “(I-FZc 117)”, is a 15th-century musical manuscript containing some of the oldest preserved keyboard music along with additional vocal pieces. Wikipedia —From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Moonflower with its large, pure white blooms, pleasant scent, and heart-shape leaves, is one of my favorite vining plants. As the name might suggest, the blooms of this vigorous vine are indeed moonlike, thanks to their pale colour and round shape, but actually, they earned their moniker because they open only at night.

moonflower image


Slough Slog

With only the sound of the wind and your footsteps, explore a side of the Everglades that most people never see by getting your feet wet in an off-trail hike. You must bring water, sturdy close-toed lace-up shoes, long pants sunscreen, a long sleeve shirt, insect repellent, binoculars, and snacks. On a slough slogging trip, the group will move slowly through muck and uneven terrains into the cypress dome.
— Everglades National Park @EvergladesNationalPark  · National Park

Everglades National Park

Slough Slog Wet Walk at Everglades National Park

Turtle Island (Native American Folklore)

The Lenape story of the “Great Turtle” was first recorded by Europeans between 1678 and 1680 by Jasper Danckaerts. According to Iroquois oral tradition, the Earth was the thought of [a ruler] of a great island which floats in space [and] is a place of eternal peace. Sky Woman fell down to the earth when it was covered with water, or more specifically, when there was a great cloud sea. Various animals tried to swim to the bottom of the ocean to bring back dirt to create land. Muskrat succeeded in gathering dirt, which was placed on the back of a turtle. This dirt began to multiply and also caused the turtle to grow bigger. The turtle continued to grow bigger and bigger and the dirt continued to multiply until it became a huge expanse of land. — https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Turtle_Island_(Native…

Turtle Island

Turtle Island (© Katalinks/Dreamstime). Websource: The Canadian Encyclopedia – Turtle Island.

How to Host a Virtual Book Launch

I curate and host literary events for over two decades now. For my Montreal book launch during Covid times, I invited three poets and a musician. And posted it on Facebook three weeks before the event day. I also sent personal invites through emails and text message. Grateful to our wonderful poets, musician, and our emcee Argo Bookshop’s co-owner Adele.

Argo Zoom Launch & Reading

by Ilona Martonfi,
Author of The Tempest

With Special Guests & Music

Louise Dupré, Angela Doyle,
Victoria LeBlanc & Simone Pitot

Wednesday, May 25 2022
7 to 8:30 PM


Hosted by Adele-Elise Prevost 514.931.3442

Offering two Poems from The Tempest

Totenwald p. 5

I shall weave and knot jute ropes around grey
bark and branches. Lime-green wings and
furry white body. Obits for those whose cairns are
missing, those who are numbers. Pupa of the
Luna moth eclosing, I will journey through
the Totenwald, a boggy, stygian fen.

“PA-HAY-OKEE (Grassy Waters)” p. 66

Snowy egret’s nuptial plumes. Dagger-like bill and orange feet. I heard it, loud, harsh grating caws. Squawking sounds. The cloacal kiss. Confounding time. Slicing apart sepia photographs, feather hunters.
From the world of dreams and Morta. I saw this, white blossoms of moonflowers. I saw it, the Luna moth.

I Conclude with Inanna Publications News

Inanna Publications Book Launch No. 2

Join us Wednesday 20 July 2022 at 5:00-6:45pm EDT online Crowd Cast Inanna book launch No. 2 featuring Marie-Célie, Katia, Ilona, Brenda, Erika, and Vivian. There will be introductions, readings by each author, and then a Q & A at the end of the readings where we will ask each author 2-3 questions about their book/writing. 

The Inanna Spring 2022 Catalogue is online: Please visit my book The Tempest p 11. 
Inanna Catalogue
https://www.inanna.ca › our-catalogues

All Lit Up features my Inanna books:

Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2022 Poetry Preview By 49th Shelf Staff ·  most anticipatedpoetrypoetry previewspring 2022

Author bio: Ilona Martonfi is a Montreal poet born in Budapest. She is a writer, editor, creative writing teacher, and founder of the writing group, Rue Towers Writers. She is the author of the poetry books, Blue Poppy (2009), Black Grass (2012), The Snow Kimono (2015), and Salt Bride (2019), as well as seven chapbooks, Visiting the Ridge, Charivari, Magda, Adagio, Mud, Moth and Black Rain. Ilona is Founder and Literary Curator of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Reading Series and Argo Bookshop’s Reading Series. She is a recipient of the QWF 2010 Community Award. Ilona has published extensively in print and online literary publications. She was a Finalist for the 2007 Quebec Writing Competition. Her story, “My Daughter, Marisa,” was published in CBC Story Anthology III, In Other Words: New English Writing from Quebec (2008), and Ilona’s “Stories of Belonging” was shortlisted for Canada Writes in the adult category (2014). She was also a StepAway Magazine nominee for the 2018 Pushcart Prize for the poem “Dachau Visit on a Rainy Day”. The Tempest is her fifth poetry collection.