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The Renku Sessions: Triparshva—Call for verse 11


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.

Selection of Verse 10:

Right through today (Wednesday), on the comments thread of the Call for Verse 10 we have had a lot of interesting discussion about person/non-person verses and about topic repetition and regression. If you haven’t checked in there lately, do check in there.  Partly as a consequence I’ll be brief here and simply announce the selection of verse 10.

Once again,  the approaches to treating winter love were varied and interesting.  There was some uncertainty about the problem of writing a  verse that was both love and non-person, so at one point I went through the comments  and attempted to give everyone feedback (a smiley face to note that the offer met the requirements) but I discovered that some seem to have been posted as sub-comments to other offers and there was no way to respond.  So apologies if yours was passed by.  I would like to commend two of Maureen’s  verses: the flannel sheet charged with static electricity and her  lace handkerchief dropped on the snow. Both sit very nicely with the maeku with its roofing iron mailbox. Each colors the maeku a little differently as I envision the people involved.  Oh, yes, non-person verses all, but objects can tell us so much about the people who created or last touched them. Both would be lovely choices were we writing a kasen with 24 verses to develop the ha in full range and depth. The problem with a triparshva, though,  is that we have 10 ha verses and are nearly halfway through the side so I feel a need to up the intensity with something that breaks  form and comes at us strongly with the unexpected. So we’ll go with a very different approach: Chris’s hashtag verse.  Here it is with maeku and uchikoshi:

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

rusty roofing iron
as a letterbox
~Sandra Simpson

#smitten #diamond #yes
~Christopher Patchel

See how it takes the letterbox, a time-honored way for lovers to communicate, subverts and upends it.  Even “smitten” and  “yes”—which in another construction would imply a person to feel the emotion and utter the acceptance—become impersonal when tweeted.   Yet there is a story behind it, and a sweet one.  Love in  the social media age when even the most personal is public. Nicely, inventiveky done!  It’s a good strong start for what will surely be a unique love run.

Specifications for Verse 11: 

This will be another love verse, three lines and non-seasonal this time.  And, a person verse.  (Whew!) Do note, though, we’ve leaped right past the earlier love topics, “catching a glimpse of the beloved”, “flirtation”, “seduction” and  “assignation”, where have we to go now?  Waiting or pining for an absent lover is a likely candidate. Maybe a marital tiff?   I won’t prescribe.  Let’s see what you can come up with. In short, here again are the requirements:

  • Three lines
  • Non-seasonal love
  • A person verse
  • Link to the maeku (Chris’s hashtag verse)
  • Shift away from the uchikoshi (Sandra’s roofing iron letterbox)
  • Pay attention to sequence and progression in crafting your love topic
  • Things to avoid include metal, writing, and while it’s a stretch to call Valhalla a house, it is architecture and we have a three-verse intermission for dwellings.
  • The season reference in the hashtag verse specifies “winter” so any season reference that names the season is off-limits for the rest of the renku.


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.

The call for verse 4 will remain open until Monday, August  31, 2015 at midnight (EDT).  At that time I’ll collect everyone’s ideas, consider each, choose the one that best serves the renku, and post a call for the next verse on Thursday.

Useful links and resources:  

  • If you’re just joining us, please take a moment to review my Introduction to Triparshva post.
  • NEW:  A full copy of the schema for the renku may be found at the bottom of the introductory page. I am filling in the verses as they are placed.
  • For the archive of previous calls and submissions, click here.

The Renku so far:

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

#smitten #diamond #yes
~Christopher Patchel

This Post Has 46 Comments

  1. OK – I’m jumping in.
    more than ever
    their t-shirts stains
    a perfect match

    with patient eyes
    he waits to tell his part
    of the story
    scanning the old photos
    into his and her folders
    just in case

  2. how calmly she smiles
    at the woman who fathered
    their only child
    –Betty Shropshire

      1. Instead:
        his long slow drag
        with one thumb out
        playing the doll
        –Betty Shropshire

      2. That Bruce Jenner verse is brilliant. I’d missed the duplication of “who”. Is there any way to rework it without wrecking the verse?

        1. Have tried various scenarios and nothing compares….my heart goes out to Caitlynn’s whole family and the maturity of grace they’ve shown publicly to each other during her transition.

          1. I’ve been checking “who” vs. “that”. It changes the meaning slightly–makes the verse a little more conflicted– but it’s grammatically okay.

  3. Hi Linda…I have looked in the archives and the chart, but am still missing the information about intermission period for proper names/nouns…I’m sure I have seen it before. Could you remind me?

  4. lost forever in
    the arms of my
    heart slayer
    the judge’s
    gavel proclaims
    liberty once more
    loving interstitially
    as busyness separates
    weary souls

  5. 10.
    #smitten #diamond #yes
    ~Christopher Patchel

    Excellent link and shift in this verse, Christopher. I’m happy to see it chosen, Congratulations. 🙂

    – Lorin

  6. looking at
    the new album we relive
    our old love story


    let’s find ourselves
    reliving the great instant
    when we quite met

  7. Congratulations, Christopher. Such an imaginative verse. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, Linda.
    you and me
    and the baby
    makes three

    1. Love it, Betty, it makes me laugh. I really enjoy your humour & wit. 🙂 A terrific twist/ update on the familiar fairytale and the repetition/ mirroring of the two words work so well. Would this verse count as a reference to literature? I think so, anyway.

      The two words could also be ‘mirrored’ in a ‘concrete’ version, if Linda felt like being daring:

      mirror rorrim
      please esaelp

      – Lorin

      1. That is inventive, Lorin. I like the original, too.
        What was in my mind though, is that mirrors work as they do because they’re backed with silver–I wonder if that could be perceived as another metal verse. Hmm. Have to reflect on that one–sometimes one can start to see regression links in every little corner even when the verse is fine.

        1. “What was in my mind though, is that mirrors work as they do because they’re backed with silver–I wonder if that could be perceived as another metal verse. Hmm. Have to reflect on that one–sometimes one can start to see regression links in every little corner even when the verse is fine.” Linda

          Even without my ouija board, I seem to be hearing crazy laughter (& a few familiar expletives) from the other side. 🙂

          Did the Japanese of Basho’s day count mirrors along with obvious metal objects in their exhaustive lists of what needs to be avoided for a while? No mirrors for a certain interval after swords, or anyone who would be likely to be wearing a sword, or anyone riding a horse (bits and stirrups have always usually been metal) or bells, or tea ceremonies? (they involve metal implements) or an iron water pump? (they had them) What about belt buckles and the like?

          I’ll be interested in the results of your research & reflection. 🙂
          But what sort of mirror is the protagonist of Betty’s verse imploring? In the story she’s alluding to (first collected from European folk tales & published by the Brothers Grimm in 1912) all we know is that it’s a mirror with magical or mystical powers. (Jungians might speculate on what it might represent) Should we assume that it’s your ordinary, contemporary bathroom mirror from the local Bunnings store, back-silvered with aluminium oxide? Which is a chemical compound, as all metals are (also a big constituent of rubies and sapphires) Water (also a chemical compound) can be a mirror, any reflective surface can be. And…mirrors, and all glasses, are actually liquids…slow flowing liquids (something I know that Sandra knows). No mirrors after the sake party, then, since both mirrors and sake are liquids? Hmmm…

          Everything on this earth is related, as you quoted John S. as (rightly) saying, and it all seems to come down to individual point of view.
          All I can say is that Betty’s ku does not draw my attention back to any previous verse in any way (thank goodness) It assists the forward flow, in my view, as does Chris’s before it.
          But I understand that my view and yours, Linda, will not necessarily coincide. 🙂

          – Lorin

          1. Lorin. when you describe metal on the armor of samurai, there is silver or copper (etc.) used on the most expensive armor. However, I don’t think that there were metal buckles because samurai did not wear belts as we know them. On the other hand, kimono for males have separate cloth ties or for jackets, attached cloth ties.

            As far as tea ceremony, there are iron pots to boil the tea water, but many of the tea ceremony utensils are made of ceramic or bamboo.


          2. Hi Carmen,
            Yeah, probably the genuine samurai didn’t have buckles (but I imagine the girth strap on their horses did… Basho would’ve been as familiar with horses as I am, or more so, and certainly a lot more familiar with them than Bill Higginson apparently was)
            To get away from all the po-faced stuff, I went & watched a Jackie Chan dvd: advertised as “Western Action. Eastern Flavour. Won Ton of Adventure” 🙂 (‘Shanghai Noon’)
            Give me a good comedy any day, 🙂 And even the horses in that film were good actors. 🙂 The Indians got some good lines, too. 🙂

            – Lorin

      2. Thanks Lorin!!! Love your concrete version, too…it’s good to be Jung at heart! 😉

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