Welcome to the third Renku Session. I’m Linda Papanicolaou, and I’ll be 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.
Our Renku So Far:
The Call for Wakiku received more than thirty submissions. Although we’re moving on hope you’ll revisit the submissions and enjoy the range of ideas everyone has brought to the renku. The thread also includes a thought-provoking discussion initiated by Chris on the ambiguity and ways of reading the hokku. On Facebook, Norman has just shared the url to an interesting conversation between Donald Keene and Haruo Shirane about ambiguity in a hokku by Basho. Quoting Shirane, “the art of haiku. . . elicits different kinds of interpretations and also forces the reader to jump across. It’s kind of like a lightning-rod effect. You jump between the two parts of the haiku, trying to bring them together.” The analogy also applies to linking in renku. Within the hokku this jump occurs across the cut between fragment and phrase, but from here on our verses will be uncut and the jumps will be across the double spaces between verses. Distance may be greater or less, depending on the particular form of the renku, which side we’re on, and the pacing of the flow.
John Carley has stipulated that the wakiku is “constructed to provide a sense of “closure” or “completion”. The offerings for this slot in our triparshva achieved this to varying degrees. Some tucked in quite closely to the hokku; others leaped pretty far from it, while others complemented the hokku with additional detail of setting, time of day, weather, other senses or the inclusion of people or animals. I’ll be talking more about the craft of linking in weeks to come; meanwhile, the verse we’ll use as our wakiku is Barbara Kaufmann’s, Here it is, paired with the hokku:
a bowl of cherries
sitting on each white plate
under a canvas tent
the snap of a breeze
Line 1 expands on the hokku, giving us the context that this formally-set table in in a tent. It might be a largecaterer’s canopy, or less predicatably it may be a camp, a safari, an explorers’ expedition, or even a military campaign. Line 2, then, creates the quick sharp sound of tent flap in a breeze. So the verse complements the hokku while also bringing in its own shot of energy to the renku, and gives our daisan hopefuls plenty to work with. Thank you, Barbara, and everyone who participated.
The third of our opening verses is the first true renku verse in that it involves both linking and shifting, which are key concepts of renku. Briefly, each new verse (the tsukeku) links to its preceding verse (the maeku) while moving away with the verse prior to that one (the uchikoshi). In other words, the daisan links to the wakiku and avoids repetition to the hokku. In composing your offers, please review the hokku/wakiku pairing above. These are your maeku and uchikoshi. Link to the maeku (Barbara’s verse) while shifting away from the uchikoshi (Lynne’s verse). Other specifications for the daisan are
- It must be a three-line verse without kire or cut (a little hard at first if you’re accustomed to cutting in haiku).
- According to our triparshva template, it will be non-seasonal (cross check your saijiki to make sure you haven’t inadvertently included a season reference).
- Link to the wakiku while not mirroring themes or topics in the hokku (no images of dining, dishes, fruit or other foods, or colors).
- Remember that we’re still in the jo as you brainstorm, so no edgy, negative or unpleasant topics just yet.
- Since the hokku and wakiku were “non-person” verses, make this one a “person” verse.
How to Submit:
All verse positions in this renku will be degachi. Please post your offers in the Comments section below. Let’s have an upper limit of 3 per participant. Calls for submissions will remain open for one week, at the end of which I’ll collect everyone’s ideas, consider each and choose the one that best serves the renku.
The call for daisan will remain open until Monday, July 13, 2015 at midnight (EDT).
- If you’re just joining us, please take a moment to review my introductory post.
- For a discussion of the hokku, wakiku and daisan in renku, see John Carley, “Renku: Beginnings and Endings” in Simply Haiku 2.1, January-February 2004).
- For linking and shifting, two very useful online resources are
- This renku will follow a schema by Norman Darlington. The layout for a Summer Triparshva may be found by reading down the second column from the right.
- If you don’t already have a favorite saijiki (season word list), here are a few of my favorites that are readily available online:
- 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.