Welcome to The Haiku Foundation’s Fifth Renku Session: New Calendar. I am John Stevenson, leading my second Kasen (36 verse) renku on this site. We will be trying something a little different this time. Instead of making all of the selections myself, new verses will be selected by the poet who wrote the preceding verse. This will be on a voluntary basis and I remain ready to preform this task for anyone who prefers to pass up the opportunity.
We have our fourth verse, thanks to Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy. Here is his report:
“Thank you friends for all your lovely offers—quite a few good ones, which made my choice that much harder and, of course, more pleasurable. In selecting this verse, apart from the requisites John has stipulated, I also looked for subtlety and innovation in the link to my previous verse, plus demonstration of the season, a clear shift in scene and subject matter, and of course musicality. Many verses came close but missed out narrowly on one or the other consideration.
I am happy to pick up this lovely verse by Maureen Virchau.
on the warm breeze
This one “scent” links (nioi-zuke) to the daisan. One of the most conspicuous and attractive things about freshly tilled earth, although not mentioned, is its fragrance. Maureen has picked this up and used it in her verse. Also, spring is indicated lightly by the use of the word “warm.” And also, the recurring sounds of “r” and “m” highlight the musicality. Finally, the scene decisively moves from a likely rural setting to a clear urban setting.
Thank you, John for the opportunity to choose the verse.”
And thank you Shrikaanth and Maureen!
Maureen Virchau will be offered the opportunity to select the next verse. Maureen, please contact me, either in a reply below or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know whether you accept this offer. If you do, I will ask you to choose the next verse in accordance with the requirements listed below and to write a paragraph or two about your selection and send it to me on Wednesday morning (February 1) so that I can incorporate it in the next posting, which appears on the following day. If you would rather not make the selection, I will do so, but I would prefer to know that I’ll be doing that as early as possible
Verse five will be written in three lines and must include a spring moon image – but not one that involves flowers or flowering trees or shrubs. It must link to the fourth verse (and only the fourth verse) but it also must clearly shift away from it in terms of scene and subject matter. It is still part of the opening section of the renku (the jo, or the first six verses), so it is to be somewhat formal in tone and not dealing in strong emotions or controversial subjects (e.g. politics, religion, illness, warfare, current events). You will have until Tuesday night to make your offers. The Haiku Foundation site has been busy lately and the link to our renku session has not always been obvious on the home page. There is a permanent “Renku Sessions” button a little further down the home page and you can always reach the current session via this route. We will continue to check for new verse offers through each Tuesday.
With best wishes to all,
New Calendar to Date
a year of
a clownfish offers
the first greeting
taking a fistful
of freshly tilled earth
to my cheek
on the warm breeze