Friday, January 6, 2017

Poetry Friday: In Love with Somonkas

A new form for a new year: the somonka.

Well, it's actually an ancient Japanese form, but it's new to me, and I kind of...


Which is nice, because traditionally, somonkas are written on that very subject: love.

Even more fun, the somonka is a two-voiced poem, composed of one "statement" poem (syllable count 57577) and one "response" poem (same syllable count.)

I guess we could've waited to do these love-themed delights until February, but Liz took charge (as usual) and made sure January would not be poem-less. Thank you, Liz.

I wrote mine yesterday before I got my eyes dilated at the eye doctor. (A poet writes when she can.)

If you want to try one, know that you can write them with another poet, or compose both halves of the somonka yourself. They are unrhymed and usually have a title. Just remember the love theme: true love, sisterly love, unrequited love, pet love, any kind of love at all.  Mine is about love, apart.


Defrosting the fish
while writing you this letter
no scales, fins, or tail
nothing to do but wait, love
headless, we still shed the sea

I’m lonely as cod
too, dear; I’ll put your letter
to nose, cheek, to bed; 
You’ve eaten by now; how cold
paper is; an ocean, drained. 

              ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

Don't miss the love my Poetry Sisters are sharing today, too:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Linda at TeacherDance.


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  2. Wow. Just wow. Love "shed the sea," especially. They have their own maritime code!

  3. I love the emptiness in this poem, and the distance between the speakers. It's bleak, in the most beautiful way.

  4. Headless...
    How cold paper is...
    WOW. This redefines love in its... negative? But still is a love poem somehow. A neat trick!

  5. Just wow. Great longing and love in those. Love the references to the sea.

  6. The somonka firm is new to me, too, but I have enjoyed reading them today. I love the longing in this one and the surprising fish imagery.

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  8. Each of you shows how deeply love is felt, yet how lonely sometimes! I like the line about paper.

  9. Intrigued by somonka- that for is new to me. This half-frozen fish love leaves me feeling really lonely.

  10. How fascinating....a new form for me. I may have to try this out soon. I want to thank you for the tip on National Gallery of Art Writing Salon. I was able to sign up for the Alexander Calder Salon. I'm excited for the chance. Happy New Year! Your love poem is not only touching....but kinda funny too. You are a master. I love seeing your work each month.

    1. So glad, Linda. I went last Friday, and it was fantastic. I sent you a message about it on FB, but I'm not sure it went through. I'm interested in hearing your opinion after you take the workshop.


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