HEAVENLY MAIDEN: Tanka, by Akiko Baba, translated by Hatsue Kawamura and Jane Reichhold. AHA Books, 1999; 115 pp., $10.

More expressive than the briefer haiku, tanka can more easily incorporate the flow of events and thoughts that make up ordinary life:

months and days go by things which appear painful seem to pile up a scarred old apple tree is scattering white flowers

Here, the juxtaposition of accumulated pain within the poet's consciousness and the impersonal beauty of the flowering tree outside it balance one another nicely.