I (Kala Ramesh) will be your sabaki for this renku. Thanks to Jim Kacian and John Stevenson for giving me this opportunity. I’ve learned the art of renku from Norman Darlington, Moira Richards, John Carley and Eiko Yachimoto. I’ve been writing renku from 2006 and I’ve been a sabaki of many renku trips and was the guest renku editor at A Hundred Gourds 5:2.
Hi everybody, It’s Thursday and I’m back! Happy Diwali!
35 renkujin made approximately 79 offers (thank you with a huge thumbs-up!).
I like the way this renku trip is taking shape! With the hokku and wakiku forming a strong bond, a good and interesting opening is established and this poem is already looking like a winner!
The beauty of a trip (in real life, for some) can be the unplanned and exciting twists – all renku trips offer you this choice! Doesn’t that sound exciting? To me it does and that is what steers me again and again to renku. Yes, one can say, the schema is already outlined – so where is the surprise? The surprise lies in the route we take, which comes from participants entrenched in different cultures and thought processes.
There are so many beautiful offers for this slot and the task of picking just one is overwhelming!
the magician vanishes
into a handful of glitter
– Marion Clarke
I like this verse for the magical power it portrays, but do feel *shine and glitter* are a wee bit too close. I love this verse, although I can’t use it here. Keep it as a pocket verse – I wonder if many of you here know about ‘pocket verses’ – a term widely used in renku. You keep the verses that you’ve written for one renku for use in your future trips! Haha! I loved it when I first heard about it … sounds maha cool, doesn’t it?
a mop of black curls
on the newly born
– Barbara A Taylor
I’m always partial to curly hair on a newborn … but in this rasika, the love verses are just two verses away, and I think that would cause a backlash.
clink of bangles breaks
the dinner time story
– Srinivasa Rao Shambangi
There’s an air of mystery here, if you want to see it that way.
shouts of joy from the peak
of a carnival’s big wheel
– Marietta McGregor
I like this verse a lot but it’s surely not buttressing the hokku – if you know what I mean? Do keep it as *pocket verse* for another renku trip.
the chatter of stars
in campfire smoke
– Brendon Kent
Lovely. I like this synesthesia of sound and sight. Well done, Brendon.
folded chairs lean
into the morning sun
– Jayashree Maniyil
Love the atmospheric ambiance this verse creates. Very nice, Jayashree.
black lipstick smears
the face of a jewel thief
Ha! Mystery again … nice!
In many ways, all the above-mentioned offers pull my imagination in mysterious ways, but (after much internal debate) the one I ultimately fell for is Sanjuktaa’s waki:
a white silk hat left
on the hat stand
– Sanjuktaa Asopa
Simple and direct and terribly mysterious (to me, at least!)
All this while, I thought the hokku was a scene outside the house – but with Sanjukta’s waki I see a change, a shift of focus in my mind – I see the interior of the house with a huge glass window where 8 poets/authors have gathered. Most intriguing – a white silk hat seen still hanging on the hat stand … a mystery unsolved that may remain unsolved till the end – that’s up to you how you want to take it forward.
Does a cut happen in renku (as it does in haiku) and, if yes, how? We all know in haiku the *cut* (known as the *kire*) happens between two images. Hold your breath … the cut happens in renku also, but it happens in the white space between two verses! Sheer magic, isn’t it? You will notice how with each additional verse our understanding keeps changing as we proceed on our trip.
What is the role & function of the daisan (verse #3): If the purpose of the wakiku was to closely support and buttress the hokku, it is now the daisan’s job to break away from what has come before. The core process in renku is link-and-shift: link to the preceding verse (we know this already), but equally important is to shift away from the verse before that.
So, in any three consecutive verses A-B-C, A links with B, B links with C, but we must absolutely ensure that A does not link at all with C. And this verse, the daisan, is the first time such an opportunity arises to test if we understand this *rule* as I stated in my introduction on 5th Oct. The link: https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/2017/10/05/the-renku-sessions-hokku-invitation/
Important to note: The link and shift is strong in rasika, and the shifts can be wide, since it is not a 36-verse structure of Kasen, which can afford to have small shifts. So, shall we say we’ll be following (to coin a new phrase) – link and leap!
To make it clear, you link to the 2nd verse (waki) but clearly shift away from the 1st verse (hokku).
The daisan is also called the breakaway verse!
So, BREAK AWAY!
Use your imagination – Basho spoke about using imagination, and renku gives you the scope and breadth to do just that!
The verses we have:
tonight’s moon –
eight champagne glasses
catch the shine / lorin
a white silk hat left
on the hat stand /sanjuktaa
For the daisan I request:
Shall we step into the world of nature? No human presence, please, more so because the hokku and wakiku are pregnant with human presence!
A 3-line verse. Winter. Absolutely no human presence.
No backlash to the hokku. Move away from all those images and words in the previous 2 verses.
Link to Sanjukta’s verse but take a leap from the hokku… into your own spaces.
A challenge, yes, but one which can be rewarding too!
Come plunge in for some adventure.
1. long – hokku | autumn moon*
2. short – wakiku | non-seasonal*
3. long – daisan | winter*
4. short – non-seasonal
5. long – end of summer/love (rainy season)
6. short – non-seasonal/love
7. long | spring blossom *
8. ageku | non-seasonal or spring *
The asterisks show the important verses in this renku.
I would like no more than 3 candidates per poet, and please post them by Monday, 23rd October.
My flight from London (yeah, I’m still in London) to India is on the evening of October 24th, and I reach Mumbai on the morning of the 25th, which will surely be followed by jetlag. 🙁
So possibly the selected verse and the corresponding notes may be delayed by a day. I’ll try my level best to keep to the schedule of sending the selected daisan to John Stevenson a day before the next Thursday morning (Eastern US time) along with the instructions for submitting the 4th verse. Keep a close watch on this space!
Thanks once again for all your lovely offers.
Keenly waiting to read your daisan!!