I am John Stevenson and I will be your guide for a twelve-verse renku, in which we will compose one verse per week until completion. A longer session, with a different leader, is being planned to follow this one.
This week featured one-hundred-sixty-seven offers from forty-one poets. And our comments continue to be constructive, informative and encouraging. Great work, everybody!
Over the past couple of weeks, robust activity on The Haiku Foundation site has resulted in The Renku Sessions being pushed off of the home page before the Tuesday deadline for your offers. Should this happen again, please note that there is a link to “Current Renku Session” just below the currently featured posts. Clicking on this heading will take you to a page that offers, among other things, “Renku Post Archive.” That will allow you to have access to the current posting (and older ones).
Once again, we are blessed with many more comment worthy offers than I have time to present. So many good ones. Here are just a few of them:
playing a game of chess
on my phone
This verse, and several others, suggested for me the “empty room” of the virtual world, in which we spend so much of our time.
the doctor knocks
a second time
Is the room empty because the patient has gotten tired of waiting and left? Or perhaps the patient is in there, experiencing a dreadful emptiness in anticipation of bad news.
one tile short
of a triple word score
Michael Henry Lee
The mention of tile suggested, for a moment, that the room may have been a bathroom. But then we are taken somewhere quite different. Games and sports are frequent renku topics.
can you see
the rings of Saturn?
The empty room becomes outer space. The suggested but perhaps no longer visible wisps of smoke are in contrast to the well defined but extremely distant rings of Saturn.
makes me weep
Sensual in so many ways, this is very close to being a love verse. In fact, I am tempted to change my plan and start the love verses earlier. I won’t do that, but this sets a good example of the level of sensation we can achieve in our next two (love) verses.
a morning fry-up
lures them from their tent
This is a good setup for love verses. And I like the suggestion of a regional English in the term “fry-up.”
the fire alarm dismantled
for my night to cook
The humor is very welcome. We don’t have any humor yet and I have opted for beauty, once again, with my fourth verse selection. So we will want some laughter quite soon. Note how Mary has avoided “smoke alarm” – a bit of renku specific humor there!
tickling my shoulders
Liz Ann Winkler
Also beautiful, sensual and an excellent potential setup for the love verses.
Our fourth verse is:
of a glass armonica
Autumn Noelle Hall
I have taken the liberty of deleting the opening article, just to reduce the repetitive quality of verses and images that say “the this, the that.”
Seraphim are angelic beings, regarded in traditional Christian angelology as belonging to the highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy, associated with light, ardor, and purity. My hope is that this will be a perfect setup for bringing us down to earth for our love verses.
For our fifth verse, these will be the requirements/considerations:
- a three-line winter love verse
- connecting in some way to the fourth verse and in no obvious way to any of the previous verses
A few thoughts about love verses in a renku: they are about love between adult human beings. They are not about love of pets, love of food, etc. They can be romantic, earthy, even explicit. This renku will feature a short sequence of two love verses (fifth and sixth verses). While they will not be written as a narrative, there is a principle of forward motion involved. So, the first of these should not be about the end of a love relationship. Otherwise, we leave ourselves with fewer options for the next love verse.
Our renku, so far:
she sets out in
her tawny jacket
the still-warm hollow
where the deer slept
in the empty room
of a glass armonica
Autumn Noelle Hall
Please enter your verse offers in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, December 17 (New York time zone). On Thursday, December 19, there will be a new posting containing my selection for our fifth verse, some discussion of other appreciated offers, and instructions for composing the sixth verse.
I look forward to seeing your offers!