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May 27, 2013
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Mondo Grove Monday

Mon May 27, 2013, 2:14 PM
What is a Mondo?

A Mondo is a Japanese poetic form that is written in Katuata. Katuata consist of 17 or 19 sound units, or Onji. In the English language this would roughly translate into 17 or 19 syllables. Each line of a Katuata is broken up into either 5 or 7 Onji, and the entire poem (the Mondo), consists of a pair of Katuata in two stanzas. What makes the Mondo special though, are two key elements:

:bulletgreen: The first Katuata is a question; the second is an answer to the question.
:bulletgreen: A Mondo is only considered a Mondo when one poet writes the first Katuata and another writes the second Katuata; otherwise, it's considered a Sedoka.

Example (Nichrysalis and TwilightPoetess):


When are dandelions in
focus if not on
the blur of the wind?

When the sunlight—breaking free—
falls on the dandelions
growing around your heart.



The purpose of a Mondo is to leave you thinking about the question asked, even with an answer. With that said, here is your mission!

:bulletgreen: In the comments, answer the question below with a Katuata of your own.
:bulletgreen: Write one more Katuata below your first, this time posing a question for other commenters to respond with their own Katuata too.
:bulletgreen: Make sure to include an element of nature in both of your Katuata!

:bulletred: Respond in this fashion to all comments you reply to and we'll create a Mondo Grove!





If a young boy can
climb rocks that he makes mountains,
what did he overcome?



*adapted from Sedoka by Ryter Roethicle






Some things to keep in mind when posting:

Each stanza you post is meant to be limited to three lines and needs to include an element of nature (usually an image). In addition, each line can either have 5 syllables or 7, but must include both, meaning the total syllable count can't go over 19 or under 17, leaving a total of 6 combinations to choose from when writing each stanza (known as a Katuata).

17 syllables:

7/5/5
5/7/5
5/5/7

19 syllables:

5/7/7
7/5/7
7/7/5

A Mondo is a Japanese poetic form that is written in Katuata. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to answer the question below with a Katuata of your own and write one more Katuata below your first, this time posing a question for other commenters to respond to. Be sure to include an element of nature in both of your Katuata!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner May 29, 2013   General Artist
His small mountain has
prepared him for the future
for which he cannot control.

~

What makes the wind howl
when the day is clear, and
when clouds do not cry?
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really awesome! It's pretty hard for me to write something limited by syllables, but I'll try nevertheless :la: (Excuse me if I miscount the syllables, English is not my first language.)

His own little rocks
are nothing compared to the
mountains life will throw his way.

~

Deep down in the sea
of your dreams caught in black ink,
what is it you see?


I think I could come up with a Katuata in Japanese as well :lol:
Reply
:iconstory-of-a-mind:
Story-of-a-Mind Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
a mass of letters
piled up like dropped autumn leaves
yet to be sorted.

~

How could god create
a living breathing planet
without a proper sample?

(Your syllables seemed correct to me. But English is not my first language either, so who am I to tell? I liked your two pieces, by the way.)
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe we are the sample
absolutely
unaware of our fate.


~

What leaves bands of red
and orange in the night sky
dancing in the wind?


(Thank you! I like your two pieces as well :))
Reply
:iconstory-of-a-mind:
Story-of-a-Mind Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
untainted wishes
of those who are still able
to dream in colour.

~

If your native tongue
is the source of your own thoughts
then what is the second one?

(I count 4 syllables for "absolutely" and 6 for "unaware of our fate", because I think all the "e"s are silent ones in these lines. But as said before it is not my mother language either, so I am not sure... )
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Student Writer
He has overcome nothing
save for the mountains
blocking his own mind.

~

Why do the willows
weep though they are shining in
the break of the day?
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner May 29, 2013   General Artist
I really love that one. :heart:
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Student Writer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013   General Artist
:heart:
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Student Writer
:love:
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013   General Artist
:huggle:
Reply
:icongileadsbalm:
GileadsBalm Featured By Owner May 28, 2013
At first, the steepest cliffs, but
Old men will show him that these
Mountains are pebbles.

--

Does the hungry bear
Have eyes because you see them
Or because those eyes see you?
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Some of the comments are actually turning this into a bad English competition...
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That's alright, English may not be someone's first language, and regardless, it's great they are participating. If you see someone who has too many or too little lines, or is off with their syllables, just kindly remind them of the number of lines and help guide them if needed. :)

Also, it seems we hit the footer. :excited:
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well, I do see the syllable rule broken as well. But nobody seems to give a damn, so I pointed out the language mistakes. It's great and all to participate, but I find it very strange for somebody who can't match articles or tenses to write English POETRY ;d, you know... =)
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Admittedly, I accidentally broke the syllable rules and wrote one Katuata that was 7/7/7, so I'm just as guilty, if you count not realizing you broke the rules until after posting.
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I agree, it's a Japanese poetry technique after all, relax :D
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I've updated the article with an easier to understand guide to use when posting. What do you think of it?
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yees, much clearer now, I find it very handy :)) One can just copy the number and begin composing
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Worst*
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Then the young boy has found
that the sun is not on top
of the mountain, alas.

~

The hind is young and
flimsy, should the wolf
survive this one last night ?
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The wolf calls off ghosts,
he is not prepared to fend
for himself in death.

Ballet lightning balances
on tree tops; does the thunder
know it is applause?
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The sinful man may not know,
but the thunder - the work
of Nature - knows too well.

~

At the end of one's road,
should he listen to what is
in the heart, or succumb to reason?
Reply
:iconlone0wolf:
lone0wolf Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
the young man overcame
the beginning of what will
be the greatest adventure
of his life

----------------------------------------------

why the humanity try
to find the meaning
of their lives,
when they are wasting their
lives in that search?
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:whisper: Psssst! just a friendly reminder that each stanza you post is meant to be limited to three lines and needs to include an element of nature (usually an image). In addition, each line can either have 5 syllables or 7, but must include both and the total syllable count can't go over 19, meaning there is a total of 6 combinations to choose from when writing each stanza (known as a Katuata).

17 syllables:

7/5/5
5/7/5
5/5/7

19 syllables:

5/7/7
7/5/7
7/7/5
Reply
:iconlone0wolf:
lone0wolf Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
now its more clear, thanks pal :thumbsup::)
Reply
:iconlone0wolf:
lone0wolf Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much for the explanation, i was thinking that the whole mondo consist in 17 or 19 syllables...

anyway thanks again pal :thumbsup::)
Reply
:iconwreckling:
wreckling Featured By Owner May 28, 2013   Writer
That's not really fair, though, since you're applying rules of on to syllables, which aren't the same. On are individual syllables, but they are also complete words with their own meanings, so a string of onji is actually a full sentence, where trying to base it off of syllable count isn't effective since our syllables aren't necessarily full words on their own.

Also, while this particular article doesn't address it, it doesn't necessarily have to be restricted to nature themes. Much like haiku and senryu, you can blur the line and play between nature and human nature, the strength of the mondo comes from the question and answer more than the original topic itself.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
They aren't the same, yes, but that leaves us to apply the rules of On to either syllables or words when translating the form to English, and syllables adhere to the more minimal and compact form that Waka can be and is known for. A syllable may not be a full word, but it can still carry weight and impact and it's unfair to call out those who are basing it off of syllables or those who aren't because the form can't be directly translated to an English form. It's similar to using certain meters common in English in Chinese languages; these meters are very tricky to adapt to Cantonese/Mandarin.
Reply
:iconwreckling:
wreckling Featured By Owner May 30, 2013   Writer
I disagree, on that front. If you're going for minimalism, then a required syllable count is the opposite of what you want. You can say just as much in three syllables as you can in five, and to put emphasis on keeping to a syllable count strays from the intent of the form. It's meant to be brief, digestable, and encapsulate its brevity. Keeping to a 5-7-5 syllabic structure in English more often than not means that you are putting more in than is necessary, and thereby moving far from the brevity the form itself is meant to display.

To provide a rough example, using the starting one you provided:

If a young boy can
climb rocks that he makes mountains,
what did he overcome?

This, while interesting, can actually be shortened quite a bit and still capture the intent and concept of the poem itself. Because there is so much by way of grammar going on in these lines, it does not feel as though it really has brevity, despite being 17 syllables. Comparatively, if you adjust to focus on the idea, rather than the syllable count, you can get the same meaning out of less phrase, and not feel as weighed down by grammar.

A young boy
climbing rocks turned mountains
overcomes what?

Again, this is a rough example (and frankly I would not be offended in the least if you feel the original is better), but my point is that if you focus strictly on syllabic count in these instances, a very core aspect of the brevity is lost. 

As a perhaps better example, I'll take one of ^neurotype's responses from this article, as I know she won't mind me doing so :P

The smile of a fish
under the whispering waves
is the moon's darkness.

This is good, on its own. It captures the playfulness of the language and the image quite well, and so in offering this comparison I don't mean to belittle it at all. However, "the smile of a fish" as a phrase is wordy and uncomfortable English, and "whispering" being included (while acoustically pleasing) does not provide much strength to the image itself. These can be fixed by moving toward brevity rather than by sticking to syllables.

a smiling fish
under the waves
is the darkened moon

It is, in essence, the same poem. However, because it is not bogged down by grammar and extra syllables, it can more clearly present the image and juxtaposition that are the core strength of the poem itself. That's what I'm referring to, when I say that sticking to a syllable count is problematic rather than beneficial, when it comes to these forms.
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And that search it is-
the one you despise -
the meaning itself
of the simple rebus.

~

Why do we ponder on
beauty and love when
the tulip can be merely smelled ?
Reply
:icongileadsbalm:
GileadsBalm Featured By Owner May 28, 2013
The scent of flowers
Defies us. Our reach cannot
Clasp this ever-present thing.

--

Why do we toil when a soft
Bed of dirt beneath the grass
Promises us peace?
Reply
:iconsomethingsophie:
somethingsophie Featured By Owner May 27, 2013   Writer
what was once
not rusted, euphonious above
his naive propriety.

---

why are some perspectives
delusional hues when
others are painted light grey?
Reply
:iconbullcross:
Bullcross Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Your rose may be red
but the old man in the
shadows feels it black as day.

~

If the flower rises
in The East and the bee
roams The West, will they meet ?
Reply
:iconlone0wolf:
lone0wolf Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
some perspective
are light grey
because they owners
had to live a common "grey" life

----------------------------------------

why we forgot what
we need remember
and remember what
we need forget?
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner May 27, 2013   General Artist
that of serendipity
is when two rebirthed souls meet
under novas above us.

where can we draw lines
to remember the
truth from most beautiful lies?
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Student Writer
We draw lies on our heart-door,
swirling as the ocean sand
under darkest light.

~

Who sings at the break of dawn
when the birds are quietly
dead-sleeping away?
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013   General Artist
gargoyles cast on graves
of regrettable mistakes
own the darkest night.

where else can we find
the often sought peace of mind
when all earth is grey?
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Student Writer
(sorry i haven't replied yet. i'm getting to it, but i've been idea blocked lately)
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013   General Artist
no that's totally fine, dolly
you don't have to respond
someone else can do it, too :heart:
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Student Writer
Okay. :heart:
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013   General Artist
:cuddle: :heart: :heart: :heart:
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Student Writer
:iconsupertighthugplz:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
We can draw lines in black sand,
pumice on igneous con-
tinental divides.

If a catbird can mimic
his enemy, why does he
track down the same prey?
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013   General Artist
for the same reason
we fall into our own traps
- we're often one-tracked.

have you ever asked
yourself if you indeed are
equal parts of sums?
Reply
:iconhaphazardmelody:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
We adapt - much like
the tadpole to the frog -
to find a new definition.

---

When summer tips her straw hat
to fall, where is that
she hides, biding her time?
Reply
:iconsarah2231:
sarah2231 Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Under the leaves of
the first spring blossom -
waiting for the rain to cease.


----

If the earth keeps on
spinning, why is it that
I remain standing still?
Reply
:iconsomethingsophie:
somethingsophie Featured By Owner May 27, 2013   Writer
The world doesn't wait for
the pretty souls, who can't
walk and breath at the same time.

---

If I am the cynic in
every tale, why are you
the light I seek?
Reply
:iconsarah2231:
sarah2231 Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The mind may sing the safest
tunes; but the heart dances
to unexpected beats.

---

If I have eyes but cannot
see, has my vision left
me or have I lost it?
Reply
:iconlone0wolf:
lone0wolf Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
you cant lost what do you
never had, because
we don't need our
eyes for see, for
that we got the heart

--------------------------------------

why the human being
seeks the company,
have a relacion
with another being?
Reply
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