Well, here we are, with our bags packed and ready to depart after a happy time together.
I know that at least some of you would like to team up for renku sessions, in addition to these THF sessions. I look for ways to encourage more English-language renku activity and, in that regard, I am happy to provide a kind of clearing-house service. If you would like to connect with someone for renku and you don’t have their email, let me know (my email address is ithacan at earthlink dot net). If I have their email address, I will contact them and ask if I have permission to provide their address to you. Also, if I don’t have your email address and you would like me to have it for this purpose (so that I can alert you if someone is looking for you as a renku partner), please send a quick note about that to my address. In addition to on-line renku options, I urge you to jump at any live composition opportunities that may come your way.
Now, as to a title for our just finished renku, I have planned to use “Tawny Jacket” for the title of this renku but offered you the chance to suggest other titles because, as poets, I suspect you really enjoy the experience of selecting titles for a poem. I would say that suspicion has been borne out by the number of creative suggestions you have provided.
I’m going to leave “Tawny Jacket” in place for a series of reasons. First, and perhaps most importantly; I like it. Second, quite a lot of you said that you like it, too. Third, and a technical factor; I would have to recast elements of indexing for all of the previous postings on this web site if I changed the title. I am a combination of energetic and lazy. I’ve used my energetic self during the previous weeks of postings but now, with my bag packed, I’m indulging my lazy self.
The fourth reason relates to renku, in general. While I try to make titles for my own longer poems that function as skeleton keys, opening various aspects of the poem for readers, the function of a renku title is different. One of the traditional elements of the hokku (first verse) is that it reflects the time and location of the event in which the verses are to be written. This is less prominent in present day practice because the location is so often “cyberspace.” Renku titles are usually less a matter of tying the verses together into a unit than they are a further recognition of the time and place of creation; the site and occasion of the party. This is part of the reason that they usually come from the hokku. Another reason is that renku should always be engaged in forward movement and, the later in the piece that the title phrase appears, the further it disrupts this forward movement by taking us back to the title, which, after all, comes even before the first verse. Better, for renku purposes to get that done right away.
All the same, these considerations needn’t prevent us from enjoying the pleasures of title-making. And it seems that many of you had some fun with this and had some great ideas. Here they are; in a slightly modified order from that in which they were offered (along with the names of those who offered or seconded them). To me, they constitute a second version of our renku – a spontaneous coda!
“Autumn Leaves” Lorin Ford, Marion Clarke
“Whence the Season” Nicholas FICI
“Setting Out” Marion Clarke
“The Outfit” Laurie Greer
“Taste of Journey” Wendy C. Bialek
“A Bee in the Bonnet” Andrew Shimield, Polona Oblak
“A Kiss for Luck” Andrew Shimield
“Seraphim Song” Andrew Shimield, Agnes Eva Savich
“A Thousand Things” Mary Stevens, Agnes Eva Savich, Kristen Lindquist, Laurie Greer, Marion Clarke
“Fielding a Thousand Things” Nancy Liddle
“Her Tawny Jacket” Maureen Virchau
“Under a Cherry Tree” Maureen Virchau
“Starry Night Toad” M. R. Defibaugh
“After All This Time” Marion Clarke
“Almost There” Terri French
“Summer Day Moon” M. R. Defibaugh
“Rediscovery” M. R. Defibaugh
“Glass Armonica” Marietta McGregor, Laurie Greer
“Searching for Umani” Autumn Noelle Hall
“Um” Princess K
“In the Field” Marion Clarke
“Where the Deer Slept” Marion Clarke
“More in the Field” Autumn Noelle Hall, Laurie Greer, Polona Oblak
“All This” Laurie Greer
“This Time” Laurie Greer
NEXT TIME: I am pleased to announce that a new session will begin next week, a half-kasen (eighteen verses) under the leadership of Patricia J. Machmiller. I hope you will all keep playing!
Thank you, so much,