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Susok Setting Sorrow

Eileen  Manassian Avatar Eileen  Manassian - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Susok Setting Sorrow which was written by poet Eileen Manassian. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Susok Setting Sorrow

The time has come to create
        the susok of our garden
Two pairs of hands to place the rocks
        by waterfall and bamboo shoots
Only one pair of hands now, 
        as I shift sand wet with tears.

For Debbie Guzzi's Walk Softy Contest
August 20, 2013


"In prehistoric times, Koreans believed that rocks had more power than water and other things in nature. Also, they believed that rocks engendered God's good-will.  Therefore, the arrangement of rocks is considered as one of the "essential" elements in designing the traditional Korean garden.  Susok or "rock arrangement," gardens are commonly found."


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  1. Date: 5/4/2014 4:08:00 AM
    Eileen....this is awesome (I am being more than honest...not just to your face!) Forgive me if I envy you this write, but I could never have written this gem myself! Top 7 rating and a fav for this one :) thank you for telling me about it; my heart throbs!!! (who said I'm being emotional?) // paul

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 5/4/2014 4:36:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Oh, I hope it is a good throbbing! Some throbbing can be painful! :) Thanks, Paul. I need these words of praise...especially lately. You are very kind!!! Be emotional....It is a language I understand as I am overly emotional myself. Thank you for faving this. I'm touched.
  1. Date: 9/8/2013 9:30:00 PM
    Congrats on your win. Morgan

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/9/2013 12:00:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, my dear. I appreciate the visit.
  1. Date: 9/8/2013 9:50:00 AM
    Well done,Eileen..Congrats on your superb win...

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/8/2013 11:43:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks ever so much for the visit. Very kind of you!
  1. Date: 9/8/2013 5:37:00 AM
    an overture of sadness in this poem raises it high congrats on win Shadow x smile

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/8/2013 11:43:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you, Shadow. It was a real challenge for me. I'm so glad that Debbie inspired us with examples....She made me want to try. Happy you could pass by! :)
  1. Date: 9/7/2013 9:04:00 PM
    Congratulations Eileen, in Debbie's awesome contest....... SKAT

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/8/2013 11:44:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Hi SKAT! Glad to see you on my page! :) I appreciate the words of congratulations..Also...so nice to see your avatar! :)
  1. Date: 9/7/2013 7:49:00 PM
    what a gem you have crafted here! Congrats on your win with this beautiful poem :)

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/8/2013 11:45:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Sandra, glad to make your acquaintance. Thank you for your kind words! :)
  1. Date: 9/7/2013 6:39:00 PM
    One says ahhhhh!! with pure delight while reading this sijo !! Congratulations, Eileen!!

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/8/2013 11:46:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Carrie, an honor to have this compliment from you! Thank you. you have brought me joy!
  1. Date: 9/7/2013 5:55:00 PM
    I hope your friends liked this, I certainly did! Congrad's on your win. Light & Love

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/8/2013 11:46:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Light and Love...thanks ever so much, Debbie. Thank you for helping me to learn and appreciate the beauty of this form! Hugs!
  1. Date: 9/7/2013 1:42:00 PM
    special congrats on your win, eileen... so beautiful!..:)

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/7/2013 4:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    :) Thanks, sweetie! I'm so touched that you stopped by!
  1. Date: 9/7/2013 5:38:00 AM
    Congrats on the win

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/7/2013 4:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, Dr Ram! :)
  1. Date: 9/7/2013 4:56:00 AM
    hi Sweet Eileen, a super pretty and gentle win...luv..linda

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/7/2013 4:25:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you, my sweet PD! You are very gracious! :) HUGS!
  1. Date: 9/6/2013 10:58:00 PM
    oh my gosh, this is so powerful and such good writing, Eileen. So far I am loving the poems in Deb's winner list. She chose very well her top spots! congratulations to you.

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/7/2013 4:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, dear Andrea...It was a pleasure to join Debbie's contest. She gave us all such motivation with the Sijo she posted! Yes, she is a tough sponsor, and I'm truly honored with my placement! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such kind words!
  1. Date: 9/6/2013 7:28:00 PM
    Congratulations Eileen love xx

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/7/2013 4:26:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, Mandy! XOXO right back at ya!
  1. Date: 9/6/2013 2:54:00 PM
    Congrats on your winning informative work..Sara

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/7/2013 4:27:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, dear Sara....Hugs!
  1. Date: 8/23/2013 10:21:00 AM
    wow i'm learning so much reading this,

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 9/7/2013 4:19:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    :) I learned a lot before I could write this... :) Thanks for visiting, Harry! I miss you when you don't come round!
  1. Date: 8/22/2013 7:52:00 AM
    Here is the response of my Korean friend, Chanmin Chung, when I posted this poem, along with Chris' evaluation on Facebook: I read now!! It's amazing!!! I've never imagined that one of my foreign friends writes Sijo..unbelievable. Thanks a lot!!! O...We are proud of you!! You are better than me!! O...we should prepare honorary Korean citizenship for you :)

  1. Date: 8/21/2013 5:33:00 PM
    *cont'd* Your syllable counts are spot-on; nicely balanced. The turn is strong, yet delicately poetic, and the fusion of reflective and descriptive details throughout the lines, is perfect. If I were still a PM running tanka and Sijo contests, and you entered this poem into one of my contests, it would be difficult to knock this Sijo out of 1st place.

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 8/21/2013 11:40:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Yes, they are sweet polite Koreans! LOVELY people. Chanmin is production manager at the Media Center my husband is director of. This is owned by our church. It is a channel that broadcasts programs in Arabic....a branch of Hope Channel! :) His wife is an artist, singer, pianist...etc. Thanks for the permission. I posted your comments...I will see what they have to say! THANKS, CHRIS!!!!!
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 8/21/2013 5:52:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    They are Korean? Hmmm, maybe not then? Ha ha! If you REALLY must post to FB, then go ahead. I am just kidding around. I think even your Korean friends will/are able to glean the Sijo 'spirit' from this poem. Ok, you asked about punctuation. Again, it is only personal taste. Notice how the vast majority of English translations of older Sijo, and even examples of the better, more contemporary Sijo, use quite a few full-stops and excessive punctuation? This doesn't mean that you have to. Your formatting and line breaks already does imply punctuation. Even so, a lot of the Sijo which do employ stylistic formatting, also highlight a considerable amount of punctuation. Simply something for you to possibly ponder further on.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 8/21/2013 5:41:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Grrrrrrr....stupid typo! They don't KNOW who you are....
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 8/21/2013 5:40:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Oh....May I post this to my FB page???? I posted my poem there because I have some Korean friends and they thought, well, that this might be too hard for me! To have your word on this, and your post there....would give me the clout I need. May I? I mean, they don't now who you are, I could just use initials, but I would copy and paste! :) Please say yes!
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 8/21/2013 5:38:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    fourth**** (Too bad we can't edit these reply sections!)
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 8/21/2013 5:36:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    P.S. -- The comment that you left on my little Sijo 'clinic' post, helped to reinforce for me how integral the word "down" is for the word-play in my Sijo. With some extra tweaking, I added a forth part to the Sijo 'clinic', and now have a pleasantly, polished poem.
  1. Date: 8/21/2013 5:30:00 PM
    Eileen, you asked for my input, so here goes. Firstly, I am a student of this form, and not a master of it. Ok, I have a bias with using extra punctuation in Sijo, but this is only my personal taste. If it was my Sijo, I would be obsessive with punctuation at the end of the 2nd and 4th lines. That's just me. You know wot? Your Sijo is excellent. You took a more classic approach with structure and the "two-become-only-one" theme, and made it your own. Very well done too.

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 8/21/2013 5:33:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    REALLY?????? SERIOUSLY????? OH MAN! I'm so so happy! YES, thanks every so much for your input! :) I'm thrilled!!! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
  1. Date: 8/21/2013 4:27:00 AM
    - A little sad thoughts here Eileen .... but still beautiful. - Well done! - Wishing you good luck in the contest! - Have a nice day. - oxox / / Anne-Lise :)

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 8/21/2013 7:31:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you, Annie Lise....Life IS sometimes sad. I don't know how this come to me, but I loved the challenge of writing this. I checked out some things on the internet about Korea...It was delightful! HUGS!
  1. Date: 8/20/2013 6:46:00 PM
    Serenity ! The Asian gardens with rocks, water fountains and beautiful little bamboo plants are my most favorite things, just like this lovely poem :)

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 8/21/2013 7:32:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Karen.....I am very moved by your words of commendation. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart! HUGS!
    Anglesey Avatar Karen Anglesey
    Date: 8/20/2013 6:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I also felt the loss in the end. Just a superb piece of poetry
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