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The Renku Sessions: Triparshva—call for verse 9

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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 to Date:

By now we’re far enough into the renku that repetition of topics is coming up now and again. This might be a good time to talk about topic categories and the guidelines that govern their use.  Unlike a 12-verse shisan or junicho, we have a certain flexibility to repeat topics, albeit not as much as kasen or other longer forms.  Yes, there are guidelines:  kukazu and sarikirai, variously translated as “number of verses” and “avoidance”, “persistence” and avoidance” or “recurrence” and “intermission”.  Kukazu pertains to how long a topic run ought continue; sarikirai to how long an interval should pass before taking it up again.

Unless you’re a sabaki leading a renku, or are seriously into renku, you don’t really have to know this, but kukazu and sarikirai are fundamental to traditional renku aesthetics.  They’re part of the rhythm that drives the renku forward.  Higginson and Kondo delve briefly at Renku Home, but the best tool is a chart that Buson scholar Herbert Jonsson compiled from a 17th century text (Haikai Poetics: Buson, Kito and the Interpretation of Renku Poetry, Stockholm 2006, table 4 p. 39).  Carley has reprinted it in Renku Reckoner (p. 113, online at Google Books).

The rows of the chart give the number of verses a given topic may persist; the columns indicate how many verses should pass before a topic, once dropped, may be resumed.  Using our recently completed verses 5 and 6 as examples, you’ll see that animal topics may persist for one or two verses—which is what we did in placing the twittering birds after the sea turtle.  That’s the duration limit; now, three verses should pass before another animal verse or verses (preferably mammal, amphibian, fish or insect).  As “rules” these may seem arbitrary but there’s method. An important topic such as the moon has strict limitations on similar topics crowding too close and detracting from it.  Love and the major seasons, spring and autumn, are developed in depth through a run of verses and also have long intermission values to give them emphasis.

Kukazu and sarikirai factored into a decision I had to make about two offers for verse 8 that actually sat very well with the maeku. One was Lorin’s Wollemi pine, which I liked because “theirs and mine” spoke to the issues of dispossession raised by Carmen’s Puyallup verse.  Yet there was a fairly strong sense of reversion to the sea turtle, despite the difference in topics, tree and animal.  Both species, sea turtles and Wollomi pine, are “living fossils”; both verses employed adverbs about time (“yet again” and “before”)to structure meaning , and yet “time” has an intermission length of three or more verses. So this pinpoints for me while the trees were stirring up echoes of the turtle.  To place the trees here wouldn’t leave enough distance between them.

Another verse, which also linked strongly to the maeku was Joel’s “unanswered prayers”. Here it was a matter of anticipating sarikirai, because a verse with a mattress would likely put constraints on the run of love verses that I plan to start in verse 10. Sometimes an image that isn’t a love topic when read by itself can pick up other meanings when placed in proximity to the love run.  No problem if we’d been starting love verse 9, but but I don’t want to start it yet, which would put the verse in uchikoshi or at least in avoidance range of the first love verse when it comes.

Nonetheless, both of these offers had something compelling in them that showed me what the renku wanted at this point.  Together with Patrick’s iChing and a couple of other verses, they led me finally to thw verse we’ll use—this one:

who left the doors open
to Valhalla?
~Polona Oblak

Whether we categorize it as a literary reference or a gods/religion topic, it too is about time, change and loss but it treats them not with lamentation but wry humor. Valhalla had 540 doors, each wide enough for Odin’s armies of the dead to march out to a great battle that will end the world as we know it. Indeed, who left the doors open?

 

Specifications Verse 9:

from the mountain top
Puyallup natives trace
their lands below

who left the doors open
to Valhalla?

Above are the maeku and uchikoshi. Verse 9 should be as follows:

  • 3 lines
  • non seasonal
  • non-person
  • topics to avoid on this round include proper nouns. animals and mountain-related things

Here’s a chance to try out the kukazu/sarikirai table. Can you say why we’re in intermission with proper nouns, animals and mountains?

 

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  17, 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

1.
a bowl of cherries
sitting on each white plate
someone’s name
~Lynne Rees /su

2.
under a canvas tent
the snap of a breeze
~Barbara Kaufmann /su

3.
passersby stop
to applaud a subway
saxophone player
~Karen Cesar / ns

4.
sweet reminiscences
of our bygone days
~Barbara A. Taylor / ns

5.
yet again
the moon lights the loggerhead
as she digs
~Paul MacNeil / sp mn

6.
with the twittering
morning mist clears away
~Maria Tomczak

Side 2: Ha

7.
from the mountain top
Puyallup natives trace
their lands below
~Carmen Sterba / ns

8.
who left the doors open
to Valhalla?
~Polona Oblak/ ns

This Post Has 89 Comments

    1. That’s nice, Agnes, though we have had a saxophone player. Would you like to try a couple more?

  1. Congratulations, Polona. A marvelous verse. 🙂
    *
    in the courtyard
    a camera
    in the oak tree
    *
    advance ticket sales
    for a sci-fi horror
    blockbuster
    *
    the scent of sulfur
    amid the cloak
    and dagger novels

  2. does the clock
    chime without sound
    inside the casket?
    **
    air so
    still the clock
    stops ticking
    **
    computer circuit
    board fried
    in power surge

  3. from the mountain top
    Puyallup natives trace
    their lands below
    ~Carmen Sterba

    8.
    who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?
    ~Polona Oblak

    a code key
    for the particle collider
    “not found”

    – Lorin

  4. I’m glad to see everyone going at it. After I posted the call-for-verse, I waited a few hours and then checked back because there are usually a few responses by Thursday evening. Nothing. Till Betty posted her ideas on Friday morning I was starting to chew my fingernails with the worry that getting into kukazu and sarikirai had been too big a bite to swallow. As I said (but may have been missed), knowing this stuff isn’t a requirement if you’re a participating writer (that’s my job as sabaki), so I hope the material hasn’t deterred anyone from continuing to participate.
    .
    Still, I had felt I ought to put it out there. My own first renku was a shisan, written online with a colleague who had renku experience. Somewhere about midway it was my turn and my co-writer kept slapping down every idea I could come up with, saying it was “backlinking”. Having at that point never heard of topic lists or persistence/avoidance charts, I feld that I was trapped in a nightmare from which there was no waking up until I randomly managed somehow to produce a verse that satisfied her.
    .
    Eventually I recovered and decided to try renku again, but the effect of that early experience persists because now I always approach the poem wanting to understand what works/what doesn’t and why. I do think that writers who seem instinctual in their approach are simply very experienced and have internalized the structure and aesthetics of renku.

      1. OMG what a relief to learn that it’s not a “rule”. That’s why I like the kuzaku/sarikirai approach better–it leaves room for the art and the rhythm.
        .
        Do you know that little “song of topical guidelines” tfrom Meiga Higashi that Bill Higginson republished in Renku Home? It’s cute but I find the chart easier.
        .
        SONG OF TOPICAL GUIDELINES
        .
        Topics such as clothing or seasons, bamboo, field, boat, road, dream, tears, moon, pine, and pillow must be separated by at least five stanzas;
        .
        Identical diction, religion, love, transience, night, or times of day should be separated by three or more;
        .
        Heavenly phenomena, rising and falling things, human nature, famous places, and the names of countries by at least two;
        .
        Fish and birds, beasts and fish, trees and grasses, grasses and bamboo, also by at least two.
        .
        Heavenly phenomena include moon, sun, stars; rising things are mist, clouds, fog, and smoke;
        .
        Falling things include rain, dew, frost, snow showers, sleet, hail, and snow, you should know.
        .
        (from the Renku Home page on Shorter Renku)

    1. 🙂

      See ‘Renku Reckoner’ pp124-126, the chapter titled “On Backlink: no better way to waste your time: and beginning:
      The Usual Suspects
      There’s a post-graduate thesis to be written somewhere down the line that traces the exact origin of the word backlink in the sense that it has come to be used in English-language renku. The researcher could do worse than to examine the sources before, during and after the Renku North America tour of 1992. Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: the theory of backlink is useful only to the extent that anyone using it should be shunned. ”

      and ending:

      “There is no such thing as backlink.”

      🙂 …and that was when he was being polite.

      On a more positive note,there are two chapters preceding the ‘backlink’ one that are concerned with with the kind of avoidance of repetition I think you’re using, Linda: “Occurrence and Recurrence: variety and change in a renku sequence” and “The Three Rs: how to avoid going backwards.” (The 3 Rs, as JEC has it in English, are “Reversion”, “Regression” and “Reiteration”)

      – Lorin

      – Lorin

    2. I for one am glad that you are ready to share some of your knowledge, even if it looks complicated at first. And it is always interesting to know the rationale behind your selections.
      I will continue to follow with interest the further development of this renku.

    1. Nice, though it may need a bit of a tweak, Marilyn–“first. . .” (first sunrise, first dream, first calligraphy. . . ” is a format for New Year’s kigo. Do you have another descriptor you can plug in there?

  5. from the mountain top
    Puyallup natives trace
    their lands below

    who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?
    **
    twenty-first century
    mindfulness on a cloud
    in the web
    **
    – Sandra Simpson

    1. Ah, how adroitly you’ve negotiated the sarikirai! “Cloud” along with “mist” is among the “rising things”, a category has just passed out of intermission range. And the twist is, you’ve changed the meaning of “cloud”. Nicely done!

  6. from the mountain top
    Puyallup natives trace
    their lands below

    who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?
    **
    the twenty-first century’s
    motivational mottos
    a web-based business
    **
    – Sandra Simpson

  7. from the mountain top
    Puyallup natives trace
    their lands below

    who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?
    **
    five plastic buckets
    lined up on the floor
    and the one that leaks
    **
    – Sandra Simpson

  8. from the mountain top
    Puyallup natives trace
    their lands below

    who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?
    **
    rusty roofing iron
    repurposed
    as a letterbox
    **
    – Sandra Simpson

  9. Hmm, Linda you have set us a challenge, haven’t you? It would be particularly helpful to me to have the poem this far reproduced on this page (given my predilection for ‘back-linking’ accidentally). Is that possible?

      1. As you figured out, I generally prefer not to put people through scrolling , which was the reason I started collecting the poem on the Introduction page, but I’m happy to start adding the full poem to the posts. At 22 verses it will soon get longer than your junicho but the most important thing is to accommodate people’s work habits.

  10. from the mountain top
    Puyallup natives trace
    their lands below

    who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?

    the batteries
    in these toy lightsabers
    dead for decades

    – Lorin

  11. who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?
    –Polona Oblak
    ÷÷÷
    weaving yarns
    all tangled
    together
    –Betty Shropshire

    1. Thinking “this” could be misconstrued, so replacing it with “the.”

      at last
      in the slough of despond
      unsullied air

      1. Oh, my…using “the” makes it refer to the original Slough of Despond, a proper noun. If it’s OK, I’ll cross this one out.

  12. from the mountain top
    Puyallup natives trace
    their lands below

    who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?

    on show at the shrine
    the steam locomotive
    C5631

    – Lorin

    1. This is a good verse, Lorin. That third line kind of like a proper noun, though? It does refer to that specific locomotive.
      .

      FYI to everyone: “In the entrance hall of the Yushukan, the war museum on the property of the Yasukuni Shrine, locomotive C5631 greets visitors.. . The C5631 was one of the engines used on the Thailand-Burma Death Railway. . . which was the subject of the Academy Award wining movie, Bridge on the River Kwai.”
      http://americanpowsofjapan.blogspot.com/2011/08/nippon-sharyo.html

      1. Hi Linda,
        Yes, the number, designating a particular steam train, does work something like a proper noun or a proper name, I agree. I wondered, though, because of course a number isn’t a proper noun or proper name. The real point then, isn’t about grammar & nomenclature and its (often confusing! and often, it seems, debated, even among the experts) terminology, but whether or not a particular ‘entity’ … person, place or thing… is being identified… Google as opposed to web browser? I wonder what the original Japanese equivalent to the “proper nouns” and the like intended, apart from the non-use of Chinese characters in the jo and the avoidance of too many in the ha?

        I’ve been reading Richard Flannagan’s “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” and watched the English film, “The Railway Man” on dvd last night. Recently, it was the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific. Sometime this year I read in one of the haiku journals a haiku by an American woman born in Japan that proposed that “our war” was forgotten. It’s certainly not forgotten in Australia, yet. That’ll take another generation.

        – Lorin

        1. Yes–good point.
          .
          And yes to the war memorials in Australia–my son and I were recently traveling in NSW and North Queensland and we did notice.

          1. It’s interesting how many Japanese couples choose to spend their honeymoons in North Queensland. I have a friend who was asked to show where the Brisbane Line is/ was, as if it were a real place. (it never was anything but a line on a map)

            Further up and over in the Darwin area, we have long generations, pre-war, of ethnic Japanese involved in the pearl industry. Also, there’s Matso’s Brewery, up there. They make good beer. 🙂

            I wish I could’ve been up in FNQ this winter instead of miserable old Melbourne. But spring is coming now. The garden magnolias are blooming and the pink plum blossom street trees, too.

            – Lorin

    1. This one isn’t eligible, Vasile. Mountains and mountain-related things are in intermission right now.

  13. What a nice surprise! Thank you, Linda 🙂
    .

    not a contestant, just an idea:
    .
    the computer screen
    flickers out
    of screensave mode

    1. I like the Valhalla verse, and I get it on a simple level without googling. I like the (dark!) humour of the link : one could imagine the Puyallups looking down as if from Valhalla, and that’s where the Nordic ‘braves’ were believed to have gone after death.
      My immediate thought was to follow with some Wagnerian opera or Valkyries 🙂 Another obvious follow-up would be an allusion to the contemporary theatre of war, and the heavenly virgins promised to Muslim heroes, but 3 allusions to war/ battles in a row seems too much.

      But opera, war etc are ‘person verses’ anyway aren’t they? How could they have no people in them, at least implied? And this is supposed to be a non-person, non-seasonal verse (so most ‘nature’ would seem to be out, too) And no animals, birds or turtles. I’m stumped!

      When considering occurrence and recurrence, I’m also stumped as to the three proper nouns we have in the renku to date, with only one verse (Maria’s) separating the first two :

      5.
      yet again
      the moon lights the loggerhead
      as she digs
      ~Paul MacNeil

      6.
      with the twittering
      morning mist clears away
      ~Maria T.

      7.
      from the mountain top
      Puyallup natives trace
      their lands below
      ~Carmen Sterba

      8.
      who left the doors open
      to Valhalla?
      ~Polona Oblak

      ‘Loggerhead’ (being the shortened version for the name of a particular kind of turtle) is a proper noun. What else could it possibly be? That there’s no capital L to begin the name is, at best, just a ‘haiku convention’, as far as I can see. ‘Puyallup’ (the name of an American native tribe) is a proper noun and so is ‘Valhalla’ (the name of a place in Norse mythology)

      So, the name of a species of turtle, the name of a native people and the name of a mythical place… (with only Maria’s chirping birds intervening) … and that’s ok (though it sticks out to me, as a reader… I’m no renku expert, but I’m ok at reading) but for the next verse no person/ people, no fish, birds or animals and also no season … and probably no music either, because of Karen’s saxophone. I’m lost!

      hmmm

      -Lorin

      1. Thank you, Lorin, I see why the follow-up may be challenging, especially with the knowledge verse 10 will introduce love. Still, there are topics that should work, I think. You already figured out transport, and I think any house appliance might do the trick (I can’t help but think of Douglas Adams’ The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul).

        But I am perplexed as to why loggerhead should be considered a proper noun. It’s an animal, and as far as I know, animals do not fall into the proper noun category unless their name is derived from a person or a place name. Am I missing something?

        1. Hi Polona,
          well, as far as proper nouns go, it seems that I’m confused. It’s a long time since I was at primary school and in those days it was considered that the names of the seasons were proper nouns and needed to begin with a capital letter! That’s no longer the case.

          Also, it didn’t help that I wasn’t distinguishing between ‘proper nouns’ and ‘proper names’. It does get technical!

          “A distinction is normally made in current linguistics between proper nouns and proper names. By this strict distinction, because the term noun is used for a class of single words (tree, beauty), only single-word proper names are proper nouns: Peter and Africa are both proper names and proper nouns; but Peter the Great and South Africa, while they are proper names, are not proper nouns.”

          “Nouns and noun phrases that are not proper may be uniformly capitalized to indicate that they are definitive and regimented in their application (compare brand names, discussed earlier). For example, Mountain Bluebird does not identify a unique individual, and it is not a proper name but a so-called common name (somewhat misleadingly, because this is not intended as a contrast with the term proper name). Such capitalization indicates that the term is a conventional designation for exactly that species (Sialia currucoides),[13] not for just any bluebird that happens to live in the mountains.[14]

          …and so I would’ve thought that “Loggerhead”, used to identify a species of turtle (the Loggerhead turtle) would also be a proper noun/ proper name. But it turns out, on checking, that it’s not.

          . . .
          ” Some words or some homonyms (depending on how a body of study defines “word”) have one meaning when capitalized and another when not. Sometimes the capitalized variant is a proper noun (the Moon; dedicated to God; Smith’s apprentice) and the other variant is not (the third moon of Saturn; a Greek god; the smith’s apprentice). Sometimes neither is a proper noun (a swede in the soup; a Swede[dubious – discuss] who came to see me). Such words that vary according to case are sometimes called capitonyms (although only rarely: this term is scarcely used in linguistic theory and does not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary).
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proper_noun

          I’m not sure why the reference to swedes and Swedes is dubious. To me a swede is a winter root vegetable, used in soups and stews, whilst a Swede of someone of Swedish nationality.
          I go back to my original misunderstanding of the word ‘loggerhead’ in Paul’s ku as meaning a thing (I vaguely associated it with something on a ship, which turns out to be: ” nautical: A post on a whaleboat used to secure the harpoon rope.” How is one to know, if one is unfamiliar with the usage, which sort of loggerhead is intended out of several options?
          https://www.wordnik.com/words/loggerhead

          Although it seems silly now, considering that the moon has always been considered ‘feminine’ in English, in context of the ku it’s not entirely improbable that I read the subject of “…she digs” as the moon. Perhaps I’ve been watching too many “Pirates of the Caribbean” dvds. 🙂
          ( I haven’t read the Douglas Adams book, and all I can remember from the film of the first book is “So long, and thanks for the fish.” .. sometimes I think I could do with one of those translating fish. 🙂 )

          – Lorin

        2. ps

          “But I am perplexed as to why loggerhead should be considered a proper noun. It’s an animal, and as far as I know, animals do not fall into the proper noun category unless their name is derived from a person or a place name. Am I missing something?”

          Polona, it’s true that the proper noun category includes the names of persons, places and things. ‘Loggerhead’, in Paul’s usage confirmed by Linda, isn’t of itself an animal, but part of the name of a particular species of turtle, the ‘Loggerhead turtle’, The name distinguishes it from other species of turtle. ‘Loggerhead’ here is actually an adjective, since it modifies the common noun ‘turtle’, but it’s performing as a noun in the case of Paul’s ku case because ‘turtle’ is left out.

          However, it’s not a ‘proper noun’ or even a ‘proper name’. You’re right. And in “Puyallup natives”, Pullallup is also an adjective, a precise equivalent, grammatically, to ‘Loggerhead turtle’. So actually, your Valhalla verse is the first to use a proper noun, if we’re using the grammatical terminology accurately.

          In that case, though, I wonder why Linda would include proper nouns in her query:

          “Can you say why we’re in intermission with proper nouns, animals and mountains?”

          If we’re using a strict definition of ‘proper noun’, it doesn’t make sense to query why we’re in intermission with proper nouns, since only one instance of a proper noun has occurred so far: Valhalla.

          I imagine that Linda is including “Puyallup natives”, along with “Valhalla”, as a ‘proper noun’ in the way I was understanding ‘proper nouns’, though that understanding was incorrect. (I may be wrong) If I’m not wrong, then ‘Loggerhead’, which, with the ‘understood’ turtle, seems to me to be an exact equivalent of “Puyallup natives”, needs to be considered as a ‘proper noun’ in this inaccurate but , to me, understandable, sense.

          After all, I can’t imagine the categories of ‘recurrence intermission’ are based on the terminology of English grammar, but rather the avoidance of designations that would call attention back to prior verses.

          But I obviously haven’t understood many things!

          – Lorin

          1. pps

            Polona, it’s struck me that what we have here is only a “scuffle of nomenclature”:

            dawn crows the scuffle of nomenclature

            haiku by Cherie Hunter Day. from ‘apology moon’, Red Moon Press

            – Lorin 🙂

          2. Goodness, Lorin, after having read some articles on proper nouns / proper names /common names I’m no longer sure about anything.

            Personally, and I’m only going with my gut feeling here, I would never ever consider capitalising “mountain bluebird” just because it is a distinct species of animal. Likewise, “loggerhead turtle” or simply “loggerhead”; however, “Siberian tiger” because Siberia, from which it is derived, is a proper name (noun?). For the same reason Puyallup should be capitalised in Carmen’s verse (not in itself a proper name but derived from one).

            But then, I do not come from an English speaking environment, and rules of capitalisation are different in my native language than they are in English. What we were taught was more or less a working version of rules and conventions adapted to Oxford standards, so I am in no real authority to speak for one thing or another.

            A true scuffle of nomenclatures, indeed!
            (I like Cherie’s haiku, btw)

          3. A good question you raised–I wanted to do some research before I got back to you on it. The online sources I find don’t capitalize “loggerhead” in reference to turtles except of course at the start of a sentence. So although it’s the popular term for the turtle, it doesn’t seem to rise to the status of a true proper noun.
            .
            “The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), or loggerhead, is an oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. . .” (Wikipedia)

            “loggerhead turtle” (Dictionary.com and OED)

            “. . . The loggerhead is carnivorous and prefers coastal marine environments. . . .” (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
            .
            Banksia integrifolia, the “coast banksia” that you used in a verse, seems as if it may be used either as proper or as common noun. Ah, well, ours is not to reason why ours is but to do and die. In the case of the turtle, it seems that we keep the verse as Paul wrote it at least as far as capitalization goes.

          4. I’ve had a look around (you’re right, of course, Linda ‘loggerhead turtle’ doesn’t take a capital) It has to do with accepted conventions of ‘style’ as applied to writing and publishing.

            Animal and plant names don’t take a capital (usually) with the exception of the “binomial nomenclature, the system of Latin-inspired scientific names for life-forms.” (eg the coastal banksia in my ku Banksia integrifolia, or the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta).

            “Binomial nomenclature is, of course, also used for animals, including the singularly curious one designated as Homo sapiens. However, as in the case of plant names, animal names are not capitalized (“I spotted a red-tailed hawk,” not “I spotted a Red-Tailed Hawk”), except when an element of the name is a proper noun, as in “Steller’s jay” and “Siberian tiger.”
            http://www.dailywritingtips.com/when-to-capitalize-animal-and-plant-names/

            Exceptions? Yes, of course there are. 🙂

            “A Bald Eagle is a bird. The loggerhead sea turtle[2] is a turtle.” (the [2] is a reference to usage in the New York Times)
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Animals/Draft_capitalization_guidelines

            – Lorin

    2. Polana, your verse has definite impact!

      from the mountain top
      Puyallup natives trace
      their lands below
      –Carmen Sterba

      who left the doors open
      to Valhalla?
      –Polana Oblak

    1. Ha! Me too. A louder haiku aesthetic than I’m used to. Respectfully, I think of the bejeweled finger and the moon… I think I’ll bow out of this one and see where it goes. 🙂

      1. i’m sorry if this feels like too much. but we’re in the ha section of the renku, and it’s here where the imagination can run wild (or so i was told). i’m sure quieter verses will come, as they do. after all, it’s the sabaki’s call.

        1. No,no, Polona! My apologies if it seemed I was casting aspersions since that was not my intention whatsoever! I love the Valhalla verse – actually each verse has tremendous merit. Perhaps I’m struggling more with the headiness of several of the submissions and the depth of the layers, links, and shifts. For me personally, when I have to do research before I understand a verse and how it links or shifts, I am looking at the finger or jewel rather than the moon. Maybe I’m not sophisticated, in a literary sense, which is certainly not anyone’s failing but my own. My own experience with haiku has been of a more accessible sort, more simplistic and concrete. I am certainly learning here, and that is good.

          1. no need to apologise, Katherine. as we come from different parts of the world and different cultures it is normal that we can’t be familiar with every topic. for me learning new stuff is one of the great things about collaborative writing… believe me, i spend a lot of time googling 😉

          2. You make a good point about explaining the link, Katherine. I have a friend who has told me that when he’s sabaki he no longer explains, just places the verse he wants and they move on. Mindful that explainations can easily cross over into telling people how to read a poem, I’ve nonetheless elected to document my thought process in choosing what I choose. It’s the teacher in me.
            .
            Ultimately, if an offer works I feel it as a gut instinct, but I then like to work out why.
            .
            To that I should add that at multiple points there have been verses that I liked a lot but gut instinct told me they weren’t working, and it was important to figure that out too. Generally it turns out to be a matter of sarikirai.

          3. Hi Katherine! I wish I could have known this John Carley as he seems to have had such a huge influence! But, I also wish I could have sat in on a renga session with the Japanese ‘good old boys’ during their earliest days…trying to ‘get’ the puns, metaphors, links, etc… and knowing much of it was bawdy to the max! But oh how they must have laughed…maybe someday, someone will lead such a renku.
            BTW, I had to research your comment about the bejeweled finger in order to understand where you were coming from!! I struggle mightily with taming my thoughts to try to fit into the world of haiku.
            Warm regards,
            Betty

          1. Understood, though haiku sensibility seems to be applied, at least as was my experience collaborating with John Carley. As I say, a great opportunity for me to sit, watch, learn…

          2. …or, Katherine, one might say that ‘haikai sensibility’ seems to be applied to haiku, since ‘haikai sensibility’, as in Basho-style haikai no renga, preceded haiku. (preceded Shiki… and never mind what Shiki’s agenda in regard to Basho was when he sold him short. 🙂 )

            Lorin

  14. who left the doors open
    to Valhalla?
    –Polona Oblak
    •••
    another big bang
    definitely strung out
    by p-branes
    –Betty Shropshire

      1. Actually, Betty, we’re now past the period of intermission for time as a topic.
        .
        LOL in some ways it’s easier just to say “one of each and no more,” rather than track the comings and goings of these intermissions, isn’t it? In really short renku such as shisan, junicho or yotsumono, one does have to be strict about repetition. In longer renku an occasional topic repetition doesn’t force a trade-off with the much-desired quality of diversity. Triparshva? We’re kind of in-between. Not forbidden but choose carefully.
        .
        Personally, string theory doesn’t feel like a repeat of paleontology even if both might be categorized as “science” topics. I’d say leave your verse in there, though yeah I can see the problem that it would have more punch if you’d been able to name the tv show.

        1. Hi Linda, honestly the tv show wasn’t on my mind! Was going for a pun with P-branes from the movie “Men In Black” with their agents known only by a single letter and the idea of multiverses 😉 . Have been in the company of a 3yr old and a newborn granddaughter for the past 3 weeks so have been too tired to really follow up on your links….lately, just flying by the seat of my pants as it were. Polona’s verse was a huge challenge…the kind I like most of all, especially since love is to follow next. I look forward to your next move! And I’m happy this verse is still eligible!

      2. Hi Betty. I am seeing other verses using a definite time factor..
        ? Just wondering about this in framing my responses.

          1. Hi Judt…well, it looks like you still have time! 😉 I wish we weren’t limited to just 3 submissions!

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