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somonka: two lovers in winter

by Liminality


one.

winter returns and

i journey again, southbound,

seeking you,

though you walk beside me, torchlight

aflame in your distant face

two.

why would snowflakes

melt under a southern sun?

of clear blue skies

you must forget, though wildfire

could imprint ash on your scalp


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5 Reviews


Points: 104
Reviews: 5

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Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:23 am
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The_Rebel_2007 wrote a review...



Have a good day, Liminality! The review:

A short and ambiguous story in a poem, that's interesting!

First stanza

"winter returns and

i journey again, southbound,

seeking you,"

I presume that the two stanzas are about the two lovers and their thoughts about each other, as it is named as "somonka." So, I am going to presume that this means that one of the lovers is going south in winter to seek for his/her love of life.

"though you walk beside me, torchlight

aflame in your distant face"

I think this means that the lovers are far away from each other. But one can feel each other close to each other, even though they are far away from each other - as a symbolism of love.

Second stanza

"why would snowflakes

melt under a southern sun?"

This is ambiguous, and I like that. This sentence can be sarcasm, or this can be longing against the natural course of nature. I presume it is the latter of them, as the meaning of the tanka becomes more beautiful.

"of clear blue skies

you must forget, though wildfire

could imprint ash on your scalp"

This is the most ambiguous part of the poem, and aye, that's the beauty of it. This part of the somonka makes me think that there was a previous feud between the two lovers and they have now settled the quarrel and that they want to meet each other once again. i think the lines suggest that the lovers must forget the old quarrels between each other, even though the burden of it could have imprinted sorrow upon the hearts.

All in all, the ambiguity and the style of the poem fascinates me. I admire this poem and I would love to read more of these!




Liminality says...


Sorry for the late reply to this! Thanks so much for your review.

i think the lines suggest that the lovers must forget the old quarrels between each other, even though the burden of it could have imprinted sorrow upon the hearts.


That's an intriguing interpretation! I do think the idea of remembering and forgetting is pretty prominent both in the words and in my thoughts as I was writing it. Thanks again!



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Points: 468
Reviews: 3

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Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:30 pm
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Lily_ofthe_Valley18 wrote a review...



I love how abstract this poem is. It eludes to the writer's ability to play on the reader's deeper feeling and imagination, it's something that I truly admire. I may be a little rusty in the review department, but I do have a few questions!
1: what do the numbers represent?
2: Are they having a quarrel? The main character speaks of seeking the other person but they are standing right next to each other, is there something wrong?
3: What does it mean that ash could imprint on their scalp?

Overall, I love the bold strokes that came with this piece of poetry: short, sweet but also packed a punch. Keep it up!




Liminality says...


Thanks for the review!
The numbers were just a way to mark two different speakers for each tanka. Question 2 is pretty spot on there! I was intending to go for something like that, like the second speaker is physically but not emotionally or mentally present. For the third question - I just wanted a sort of destructive fire image to link back to the "torchlight" and the "distant face "in the first tanka.

Overall, I love the bold strokes that came with this piece of poetry: short, sweet but also packed a punch.


Ah thank you! <3 That's very flattering. Short with a punch is what I love about these traditional Japanese forms, so I'm glad my take on it managed to carry that across.

Thanks again!




The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
— H. L. Mencken