Hello everyone. I am John Stevenson and I will be guiding you through the composition of a twenty-verse (nijûin) renku.
I am offering the opening verse (hokku) in this post and we will add another verse each week until we have completed all twenty. During the following week, I will be reviewing your offers for a second verse (wakiku) and making a selection, which I will announce next week. The author of that selected verse will then have the option of choosing the third verse. And we will proceed in this way, with the author of each verse selecting the following verse. Do not be discouraged if you would rather not take on the task of selecting a next verse. I will re-assume the task for any poet whose verse is selected but prefers not to make the next selection.
For some more information about the nijûin renku, I refer you to Bill Higginson’s Renku Home. The chart we will be using as a guideline is the one marked “starting in AUTUMN.”
Here is my offer of a hokku:
for a better look
Our next verse should:
- consist of two lines
- constitute a single phrase, without a grammatical break
- contain an autumn image (it may contain a moon image but is not required to)
- link closely to the first verse by suggesting an addition to the same scene
- involve pleasant and peaceful themes – more striking subject matter will be looked for later in the renku
Think of the second verse as making a new poem when added to the first verse.
Please enter your verse offers in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Monday, August 24 (New York time zone). Note that I am setting the deadline one day earlier than in the past. This is so that poets who may be making the next verse selection for the first time will have an extra day to complete their selections and comments and to consult with me, should they wish to do so. On Thursday, August 27, there will be a new posting containing my selection for our second verse, some discussion of other appreciated offers, and instructions for composition of verse three.
I look forward to seeing your offers!
P.S. The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/code-of-conduct/.