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The Renku Sessions: Introduction to Triparshva

Welcome to the third Renku Session. I’m Linda Papanicolaou, and I’m leading this journey in collaborative poetry. Triparshva is a 22-verse form developed by Norman Darlington in 2005. It’s a good form for composing online because it moves more quickly than the 36-verse kasen, while also following the jo-ha-kyu (beginning-development-rapid closure) pattern of traditional renku. So whether you’re new to renku, or simply want to keep your skills honed, you’re especially encouraged to join us.  Here are some links and resources to help you come up to speed:


About Triparshva as a Renku Form:

  • Norman Darlington and John Carley, “The Triparshva,” Simply Haiku, Summer 2005
  • “Saint Brigid’s Day,” the first Triparshva to be published in English, by John Carley, Patricia Prime and Norman Darlington, Kokako 2005
  • John E. Carley, Renku Reckoner, ed. Norman Darlington and Moira Richards (2013, print ed. Lulu 2015), sample pages are online through Google Books. A chapter on triparshva and an example may be found on pp. 41-45.

Recommended Season Word Lists and Topic Lists:

Understanding season is crucial for renku.  Here are three online saijiki (season word lists) I use often ad recommend.

  • Kenkichi Yamamoto, “The Five Hundred Essential Japanese Season Words,” tr. Kris Kondo and William J. Higginson, online at Renku Home (2000, updated 2005)
  • ” The Yuki Teikei Season Word List”, online at Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 1997.
  • World Kigo Database, ed. Gabi Greve, also includes links to a number of regional kigo lists and saijiki.

A list of topics and topic categories is also useful for diversity, so it’s also recommended to keep one bookmarked for reference. Kondo and Higginson have published two from Japanese renku clubs on Renku Home.

Archived Posts and Comment Threads: The full set of calls for verses, submissions and discussions on the comments threads may be accessed here.

The Renku So Far: The following is our renku to date, updated as the renku progresses and verses are placed. We are following Norman Darlington’s schema by for a summer triparshva, published in Simply Haiku and in Renku Reckoner (pp. 41-42).

Side 1: jo

a bowl of cherries
sitting on each white plate
someone’s name
~Lynne Rees /su

under a canvas tent
the snap of a breeze
~Barbara Kaufmann /su

passersby stop
to applaud a subway
saxophone player
~Karen Cesar / ns

sweet reminiscences
of our bygone days
~Barbara A. Taylor / ns

yet again
the moon lights the loggerhead
as she digs
~Paul MacNeil / sp mn

with the twittering
morning mist clears away
~Maria Tomczak

Side 2: Ha

from the mountain top
Puyallup natives trace
their lands below
~Carmen Sterba / ns

who left the doors open
to Valhalla?
~Polona Oblak/ ns

rusty roofing iron
as a letterbox
~Sandra Simpson / ns

#smitten #diamond #yes
~Christopher Patchel / wi lv

at the Marquise
a clandestine romp
in neon flicker
~Judt Shrode / ns lv

his better half chambers
another round just because
~Betty Shropshire / ns lv

after a while
the life boat for refugees
hardly floating
~Vasile Moldovan / ns

the first pawlonia leaf
to touch the soil
~Maureen Virchau / au

how the setting moon
fills the garden
with darkness!
~Gabriel Sawicki / au mn

I stagger through cricket songs
impaired by Gandalf Grog
~Patrick Sweeney / au

Side 3: Kyu

all the children
mark off their days
with chunky crayons
~Beth McFarland / ns

jackets warming
by the wood burning stove
~Joel / wi

a peal of bells
from across town
announces early Mass
~Marion Clarke / ns

the border collie
herds freshly shorn ewes
~Agnes Eva Savich / sp

always find a perfect one:
apple blossom
~Todd Treloar-Rhodes / sp bl

on the count of three
we let the kite go
~Liz Ann Winkler / sp

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. our gathering
    interrupting theirs
    the squirrel scolds


    one chair short
    the latecomer
    sits n the grass

  2. backlit clouds
    hot pink crepe myrtle
    bending low


    bright-sky lake
    the two young loons
    learning to fish


    puffy clouds
    a bee heavy laden
    with pollen

    notes to Linda, probably not news . . .
    crepe myrtle in the US (exists all over the world) blooms in summer in the southern regions at a minimum. Here in Florida they arrive with the heat!


    in most of the northern regions of N. America, loons nest in June and raise the chick(s) in July and August.

    – Paul

  3. Congratulations Linda — a great start!

    Three to a customer in the next stanzas?

    Poets should note this reply server doesn’t take line spaces. To separate entries one should use a dash or asterisk to cause spacing.

    Best to you and to all renkuers, or renkuistas ? – Paul

    1. Hi, all! I have been out of touch in the rainforests of Northern Queensland and I’m delighted to arrive back to find that the posts I’ve drafted are online and that such an enthusiastic response already.

      1. Hiya Linda!

        As with Paul, curious as to the number that one may submit…3 or sky’s the limit????? ☺ Betty

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