Welcome to the third Renku Session. I’m Linda Papanicolaou, and I’ll be leading this journey in collaborative poetry. Triparshva is a 22-verse form developed by Norman Darlington in 2005. It’s a good form for composing online because it moves more quickly than the 36-verse kasen, while also following the jo-ha-kyu (beginning-development-rapid closure) pattern of traditional renku. So whether you’re new to renku, or simply want to keep your skills honed, you’re especially encouraged to join us.
Our Renku So Far:
Thank you, everyone, for exploring both seasons that the schema offered as options. The ideas you submitted were enormously helpful in choosing which direction we should take.
As you’ve noticed, the seasons in renku occur two to a side, with non-season verses between them as spacers, and they don’t progress in natural order. Think of them as the axes of a mandala that we criss-cross rather than following the circumference. The need to come up with the right season for a particular verse slot, plus the additional requirements of three-lines or two, person or non-person, and the strictures of variety in topic can make it seem as if we’re ticking off a checklist rather than writing with authenticity. In the years that I’ve been using the Worldkigo Database, I’ve often seen Gabi say that the saijiki isn’t used as a weather report. Kigo are used to bring out underlying mood or emotion (WKD, “Seasons and Categories“, “Emotions in Haiku and Kigo“). In recognition of this, Jane Reichhold has added a “moods” category to her own online “Dictionary” of season words.
A writer who has influenced my own practice is Yuki Teikei’s Patricia Machmiller. An abstract of her talk “Kigo: The Scent of Haiku,” (2013 Haiku North America) is online, and Melissa Allen has a synopsis on Red Dragonfly. Her key points were that a well-chosen season reference “brings to the haiku an intuitive quality that makes it more mysterious, more enigmatic, yet more profound,” and that “the sense and scent of each poem would change if kigo from a different season were chosen.” Patricia was talking about season and the cut within a haiku, but it applies to renku linking too, and this was the choice I faced: shall we go with moon in spring, or in winter? Either would work–and the renku would as a result play out in very different ways because the choice of season here determines verses on the next side too.
Given the maeku, its “reminiscences of byegone days”, winter seemed an obvious choice and indeed, some beautiful imagery was offered as seasoning: snow moon, ice moon, wolf moon, long night moon, snow/snowfall/snow crust, cold, frozen/iced river, bare-branched trees, wild ducks. . . The next verse would be a two-line, non-season/non-person to close out the side and lead on to the ha.
The imagery for a spring moon was equally diverse–melting icicles, a misty or hazy moon, pink or petal-coloured moon, a tranquil pond, wisteria, carnation, new grass/fresh pasture , and among the animals rising koi, and baby animals including tadpoles and lambs (how ingenious of Joel to make his a winter verse with cubs snuggling in beside a hibernating mother bear!). I found myself particularly drawn to a few verses that envisioned a deeper twist on this season of sexual reporduction, which is linked to the moon and expresses itself in ways that can be very disruptive of the neat social order we build for ourselves: pregnant ewes restless in the moonlight, a bellowing bull, a moonlit buck, starfish in a tidepool, and most wonderfully the Cat in the Hat who assumes the role of E.E. Cummings’ goat footed balloon man “In Just Spring”.
So I’ll spring on you the verse we’ll use from this short list: Paul’s sea turtle. Here it is with its maeku and uchikoshi:
to applaud a subway
of our bygone days
~Barbara A. Taylor
the moon lights the loggerhead
as she digs
See how it turns the human reminiscence in the maeku into the instinctual memory of a creature who has been hauling out to nest on the beaches of this planet for an estimated 40 millions of years. The moon and the season topic nesting come smoothly together as the females mostly come ashore at night. At the same time, it’s a verse with layers: I can read her as the mythic “world turtle”, bearing us all on her back, while in the context of habitat destruction and global warming, she’s coming ashore to an uncertain future. Well done!
This will be a two line verse, spring in season, and again a purely nature topic, please. You may let the link go where it will take you, although I must impose a few topic restrictions:
- No sun or stars in verses adjacent to a moon verse–we want to leave room for that spring moon to shine uncrowded by other heavenly phenomena.
- Sea turtles when the spring season has already warmed up, which is fairly late in the season. Among the US turtle populations that’s March in Florida, May in the Carolinas. In Renku Home’s 500 Season Word list and in the World Kigo Database you’ll see that the season references are sorted out as early/middle/late/all season, and in a run such as our two spring verses here, you do not want time to back up. So no melting snow or ice, snowdrops or crocus, etc. Choose your imagery from things that are late spring or all spring.
- And, as you saw on some of the discussions on the Call for Verse 5 thread, we stay away from the hokku. No more colors.
How to Submit:
All verse positions in this renku will be degachi. Please post your offers in the Comments section below. Let’s have an upper limit of 3 per participant. Calls for submissions will remain open for one week, at the end of which I’ll collect everyone’s ideas, consider each and choose the one that best serves the renku.
The call for verse 4 will remain open until Monday, August 3, 2015 at midnight (EDT).
- If you’re just joining us, please take a moment to review my introductory post.
- This renku will follow a schema by Norman Darlington. The layout for a Summer Triparshva may be found by reading down the second column from the right.
- NEW : I’ve put a full copy of the schema at the bottom of the that intrductory page, and am adding verses as they are placed.
- For the archive of previous calls and submissions, click here.
- Some online saijikis (season word list):
- Kenkichi Yamamoto, “The Five Hundred Essential Japanese Season Words,” tr. Kris Kondo and William J. Higginson, online at Renku Home (2000, updated 2005).
- ” The Yuki Teikei Season Word List”, online at Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 1997.
- World Kigo Database, ed. Gabi Greve, also includes links to a number of regional kigo lists and saijiki.
- Online resources on linking and shifting include
***New and highly recommended***
- John E. Carley, Renku Reckoner, ed. Norman Darlington and Moira Richards (2013, print ed. Lulu 2015), sample pages are online through Google Books.