Summary: Write a somonka, a 10-line poetic form of Japanese origin.
How to Enter: Post your entry in this thread using the spoiler code, shown below, along with your team name (if you have one!)
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The earliest somonka(or relationship poem) are found in the Manyoshu, a 1st century AD anthology of Japanese poems - at that time they were romantic poems among court lovers. However, somonka can express platonic love as well. Typically, the first tanka is a statement or declaration of love by one speaker, followed by a second tanka that is a response to that declaration by another speaker. A tanka usually has the following syllable structure:
So the overall somonka would be:
There's room for flexbility, though!
Bonus: include the kireji or 'cutting word' as a transition in place of punctuation such as a comma or full stop (period). The kireji is a strong image or word that causes a reader to change focus.
Source of info: Poetry Magnum Opus on somonka,on kireji, on tanka.
Translated by Alexander Vovin from Man'yoshu Book 15: A new translation containing the original text, kana translietration, romanization, glossing and commentary (2009) Pub. BRILL, p.36-37
If the fog rises
at the seaside lodging
where my lord is going,
know that it is my breath that
rises lamenting for you.
Although we will see each other
when autumn arrives,
I wonder, why
you should lament
so that your breath would rise as fog?
(note: the original does not come with line breaks in this way, but I've added them in based on the divisions marked in on the text)
For an example originally written in the English language, see Robert Lee Brewer's poem Sugar.
If you need help counting syllables (though as mentioned earlier, the syllable rules are really quite flexible in somonka), you can use a syllable counter as a guide (trust your instincts first, though ).
I'll be judging based on:
1. the use of the form and themes of somonka (so the poem has to count as a somonka. Leeway for creative modifications exists, for instance if you have 6-7-6-7-7 syllables to make it flow, that still works, but you won't be eligible for this event if you submit a free verse poem!).
2. creativity - for instance, is it an unusual or unique idea? Or a 'typical' idea but developed in a unique way?
3. quality of imagery - so that means specificity and how it evokes emotion.
Good luck and have fun!