A Bed of Geraniums: Tanka Poems

By: Edward J. Reilly

What Reviewers Are Saying:

You’ll enjoy a collection of peaceful tanka by Edward J. Rielly in this book. Rielly’s tanka are full of love for his family and people around him. Using ordinary words, but using them poetically, he creates the universe of love. Reading these heart-warming poems, I’m sure you will feel warm and peaceful as well.

—Kozue Uzawa, editor of GUSTS: Contemporary Tanka


Edward J. Rielly shines a gentle light on family, love, grief, and joy in his new book, A Bed of Geraniums. Through the poetic form of tanka, he illuminates his personal journey with acceptance and humor. Rielly is a tanka master. I can easily imagine returning to his beautiful book again and again for his clarity and strength of vision.

—Marilyn Shoemaker Hazelton, past president, Tanka Society of America; editor of red lights

Character develops with age. Readers of A Bed of Geraniums will get to know the depth and breadth of Edward J. Rielly’s seventy years, polished by tanka. He shares with us his dreams of childhood, work moments, long marriage, granddaughter, and his future: “. . ./the funerals pile up/like snowdrifts—/my children ask me what/I want for my birthday.”

—David Rice, editor of Ribbons, the journal of the Tanka Society of America

Edward J. Rielly is professor emeritus of English and former director of the Writing and Publishing Program at Saint Joseph’s College in Maine. His books include a memoir of his childhood (Bread Pudding and Other Memories: A Boyhood on the Farm), children’s picture books, biographies, cultural histories, studies of baseball and football, and many collections of poetry. His Answers Instead: A Life in Haiku, published by Encircle Publications, is the 2016 recipient of the Mildred Kanterman Memorial Award from the Haiku Society of America.



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