Heart vs Mind: A Somonka*


Heart vs Mind: A Somonka*

Superstitious mind
intelligence beyond heart
mind over matter
neurons versus heart’s fast beats
who should be your life’s leader?

Fear not ‘i love you’
sometimes they are really true
nonetheless, let heart
beat with your clever brain’s wit
’cause love needs both: heart and mind.

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit:McKinley Law

In response to Daily Post: Superstition and Napowrimo Day 9.


Today, I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write.


The Somonka, is a Japanese verse form that takes the frame of 2 tankas and carries a central theme of love. From that point there are differences of opinion in the scope of the subject and in how many poets are involved. The earliest Somonkas can be found as far back as the Man’yôshû, 1st century AD. They were the exchange of romantic poems between court lovers. Viola Berg’s Pathways For a Poet-1973 refers to the Somonka as the Rengo.

The Somonka is:

  • a poem in 10 lines, made up of 2 tankas.
  • syllabic, 5-7-5-7-7 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per line.
  • composed in the form of statement-response,
  • often written by 2 poets, one writing the statement the other the response but a single poet can write both parts.
  • titled.
  • unrhymed.
  • built around the theme of love.

67 thoughts on “Heart vs Mind: A Somonka*”

  1. Beautiful. My dissertaion (during Masters) was heavily centered around the Manyoshu. You brought back memories, my dear girl, my princess! Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is this Manyoshu: The Man’yōshū (万葉集?, literally “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”, but see Name below) is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, compiled sometime after 759 AD during the Nara period.
      Hmmmm. Interesting, Nandita! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 it is a woman’s ritual to stay strong, I know, but soft can be strong too. look at water, nothing strong about it, but it can grind a boulder!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand this so well. I am a self-proclaimed brain person but recently heart has been inching to take over. Lovely write, and an interesting form too, sweet woman. 💕☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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