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The Renku Sessions: Jûnicho – Final Post

renkuchainWelcome to The Haiku Foundation’s Seventh Renku Session.

I’m Lorin Ford. I’m your sabaki for this Jûnicho renku.

“The word sabaki means handler or guide. . . . It is pure chance that the German word Führer also translates as guide.” (John Carley, Renku Reckoner)

 

Some Resources:

John Carley’s ‘Introduction to Renku’.

Renku Home.

THF renku archive here.

 

Verse #12, spring ageku

17 poets submitted verses for our ageku spot. Many thanks to all who submitted for giving me a good variety to select from. Here are my ‘top 10’ once more, for this last time:

as if on cue/ fiddleheads unfurl                                                   – Sally Biggar

.

the shapes we find/ in passing spring clouds                          – Judt Shrode

.

hibernation’s end/ a turtle comes up for air                           – Linda Weir

.

bear cubs wrestling/ outside the den                                       – Polona Oblak

.

a day’s worth of tadpoles/ released  to the pond                 – Chris Patchel

(slightly edited)

.

the spring tide arrives/ then ebbs away                                   – Pauline O’Carolan

(slightly edited)

.

an echoing whale song/ tempts us onward                             – Jan Benson

.

stacking chairs/ at the first spring gathering                           – Brendon Kent

.

sunbeams stir/ the pond’s depths                                              – Agnes Eva Savich

.

a swirl of koi/ awakens the pond                                                – Mary Kendall

.

 

Verse #12, Ageku – Catch and Release

 

cameras atop towers
turned to the five boroughs

– Betty Shropshire

from this far away
fliers appear to be
conducting kites

– Jackie Maugh Robinson

a day’s worth of tadpoles
released to the pond

– Chris Patchel

 

Flying a kite is a fun activity. Catching tadpoles is also a fun spring activity for many young children and it’s educational, too. Tadpoles can be found in creeks, in culverts, in billabongs, in farm dams, in ponds and in man-made pools in public parks. All we used to need was a jar or bucket and a bit of an old nylon stocking begged from mother or grandmother. I imagine kids still improvise. After we’d brought our catch home to show, we’d be told to put them back so that they could grow up to be frogs. I learned the life cycle of a frog, by observation, before I learned much else. Not only do our amphibian friends look cute, but they do us the service of catching and eating mosquitoes. Only in recent decades have I found out that many frogs are now on the endangered list. So, have I selected Chris’s verse just because I happen to like frogs? No.

“(Ageku) implies . . . the fulfilment of anticipation: ‘at last’ . . . combining elements of summary, salutation and augury.” – John E. Carley

“. . .a bright or relaxed verse that expresses the joy of completing the work.” – Professor Fukuda

“Our sense should be of something that goes on, even as we part from it.” – John Stevenson

Chris’s ageku ticks all the boxes for an ideal ageku for this renku, and more. It even links, in a subtle, distant way, to our maeku’s soundless symphony with many conductors. Re L1, “a day’s worth of tadpoles. . .” how many hours in a day? At the spring equinox, there are twelve daylight hours. From that time, the days will grow longer; the released tadpoles have the chance to grow into frogs. Wherever Chris’s tadpoles were caught, they are now released into the pond. The frog cycle will continue (it is to be wished) generation after generation. I’m charmed by the depth of the implied salutation in this ageku. It honours not only our renku as a whole but also the Father of Shofu-style renku/ haikai-no-renga, Bashō, who made his living by teaching and editing renku. Metaphorically, it’s the twelve verses of our Jûnicho that we’ve focused on ‘catching’ that we now release: release to the public as a completed renku poem and release into ‘the pond’, the repository of all previous renku. For me, this pond is both Master Zeami’s “deep and silent pool” that the (short) “waterfall” of our renku’s kyu phase plunges into and Bashō’s famous “old pond”. Intuition tells me that these are at least related, perhaps even one and the same thing. This pond is never completely silent, though. After the tadpoles are released, if we listen closely, we can hear an echo of the spirit of the ‘old pond’, Bashō’s famous frog, jumping in. Plop! And after that? As always, just the sound of water. Life-giving water, from whence we came. A most suitable ageku, Chris. Well done, indeed.

*Chris’s original ‘returned’ is changed to ‘released’, in view of our uchikoshi’s ‘turned’ cameras.

* * *

Our completed Jûnicho:

 

Sleigh Ride

A Jûnicho renku led by Lorin Ford
Composed on-line at The Haiku Foundation
January – April 2018

 

sleigh ride

the road ahead shimmers

in moonlight                                                 – Marta Chocilowska

 

softly, how softly

snowflakes fall                                             – Kala Ramesh

 

my life story

between mouthfuls

of chili con carne                                         – Lee Nash

 

his breath as he whispers

“Señora”                                                          – Liz Ann Winkler

 

the marriage celebrant

embarrassed about not

arriving on time                                           – Barbara A. Taylor

 

lured by fermenting grapes

a pair of wobbly parrots                           – Simon Hanson

 

on the wagon

a few bales

of straw                                                          – Carol Jones

 

gone, gone, gone all the way . . .

with the wind                                               – Michael Henry Lee

 

a bee

disappears into the bell

of a foxglove                                                 – Andrew Shimield

 

cameras atop towers

turned to the five boroughs                   – Betty Shropshire

 

from this far away

fliers appear to be

conducting kites                                          – Jackie Maugh Robinson

 

a day’s worth of tadpoles

released to the pond                                 – Chris Patchel

 

* * *

 

Tomegaki /’wrap’ 

At last! Our Jûnicho is complete. The fun (and the challenge) has been in the experience of doing of it. The effort and time spent has been worthwhile, interesting and enjoyable. Now we release it. We let it go. First, my thanks and gratitude to each of you who came along on the ride and especially to those who’ve continued submitting verses, commenting and following this renku to its end over these past three months, whether they’ve had a verse selected or not. I’m very grateful to everyone who participated for giving me a good variety of verse offers to select from for each position. My primary aims throughout have been inclusiveness, variety (including variety in linking and verse construction) and the making of a readable, communally-authored poem. As a novice sabaki, I’ve found the experience both stimulating and challenging. I thank The Haiku Foundation for providing this venue where all of us, no matter how far-flung from each other, can participate in renku and I thank John Stevenson for supporting the cause in many ways, as well as configuring each week’s new post. The reason I accepted John’s ‘sabaki’ challenge is simply that I’m grateful for the opportunities given me to be involved in previous renku here and felt it was time I did my bit, ready or not. I look forward to participating in future THF renku. I encourage others to have a go at the sabaki role. If we all waited for the Masters, I suspect it might sometimes be a long time between THF renku.

(Read that last sentence twice. John Stevenson)

I love the variety of verses we have in our completed renku and the various ways of linking revealed to me. I’m personally delighted with our Jûnicho, while being much more aware than before how each verse, from hokku to each newly added verse, in any renku, conditions the rest. Renku is just one more illustration of the universal concept of dependant arising. I’m also heart-warmed by the congratulations people have given to the authors of selected verses. From my own experience, I know the delight of having a verse accepted. Having participated in all of the THF renku to date, I also know that each person acting in the role of sabaki will select a different verse from the verses offered than another might. If you didn’t have a verse selected this time, you might have three selected for the next renku, so don’t be discouraged. Participation is the thing. We’re all learning what it is to be involved in a unique kind of communal, cooperative poetry. Besides, every participant now has some verses on hand that might be transformed into publishable haiku.

 

Kanso/ ‘appreciations’

At the beginning of his debrief for the Jûnicho, ‘Yellow Moon’, one of the first I participated in, John Carley wrote:

“In contemporary Japanese renku circles it is customary, on the completion of a poem, for the poem leader, the sabaki, to post a tomegaki.  . . . The participants will also post a kanso. This might be given as ‘an appreciation’, though in practice it is not de rigeur to be unfailingly flattering.”

http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv7n4/renku/CarleyYMoonmeta.html

I invite everyone to comment on this renku and its process, to write a kanso and post it on the thread. I’m with John Carley: you need not be unfailingly flattering. This is the time to express your disagreements or doubts as feedback as well as your appreciations of the process and of the poem.  I look forward to all of your responses.

– Lorin

 

* * *

 

My thanks to Lorin Ford and everyone involved in creating “Sleigh Ride”. Stay tuned next week, when Linda Papanicolaou will begin an eighteen verse imachi renku.

John Stevenson

 

 

 

 

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Sorry to be late (story of my life!)
    Wonderful journey, loved the ride!
    Thank you for the great experience Lorin…here’s to many more.

    Kind regards
    Brendon

  2. Hi All,
    Many thanks for each and every one of your feedback comments. (I’m hoping there will be a few more, too, before our time runs out . . . that’d be midnight this coming Monday, New York time.)
    .
    Andrew Shimield had a fair (and, thankfully, correctable) point regarding our 2nd ‘love’ verse returning to uchikoshi, (our daisan) something I should’ve but didn’t notice, at any stage. So we had 3 ‘talking’ verses in a row (‘telling’, of course, being implied in our daisan). Barbara’s verse has now been slightly edited (with her knowledge and approval). If I’d noticed it before selection, I still would’ve selected it but edited out ‘apologises’ much in the way of Chris’s suggestion. Thanks, Andrew and Chris!
    .
    Jim has now kindly revised the archived version of ‘Sleigh Ride’.
    .

    (original)
    .

    the marriage celebrant

    apologizes for not

    arriving on time – Barbara A. Taylor

    .

    (archived version)
    .
    the marriage celebrant

    embarrassed about not

    arriving on time – Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/renkuarchive/2018_sleighride.pdf
    .
    – Lorin

  3. Thank you Lorin and everyone else who came to the party. I love the stimulation and many surprises in both offerings and commentary. I’m looking forward to the next renku session.

  4. Congratulations to all who participated in the Junicho and particularly to those who had a verse selected. I enjoyed reading everyone’s offerings and the various approaches to linkage. Thank you Lorin for your time and effort in guiding the Junicho to a successful completion.
    *
    I’ll look forward to collaborating again soon. -princess k

  5. Lorin – Thank you for a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the creative challenge of responding to the criteria set forth for each verse. As well as see the final selection and your thoughts on the matter. There were many excellent submissions and I was pleased to be included in the “top ten” upon occasion.
    *
    Everyone – It was a pleasure to be part of this renku community with you and experience the different voices and ideas. So many inspiring verses. Congratulations to all who had a verse selected.
    *
    Thanks to THF, John Stevenson, and all who step forward to lead a renku in this forum. Much appreciated!

  6. A perfect ending with the return of the tadpoles to the pond. Congratulations, Chris, on an excellent verse.
    .
    Lorin, as sabaki, you really have been a great teacher to all of us. Your thoughtful analysis and your willingness to discuss choices and options has been eye opening. I’m so happy a few of my offerings made it to the shortlists, but I agree with Judt that it’s the process and the fun of writing together that brings real joy. Thank you for everything! And a big thanks to my fellow poets for being part of this journey.

    1. I didn’t mean to leave off John Stevenson. There is so much work behind the scenes to get a project like this up and running and to see that it is updated each week on time and with everything appearing right. Thanks, John, for making these lovely renku appear time after time and for selecting such interesting poets to lead us on our adventures.

  7. Congratulations, Chris, on your send-off verse.

    Lorin, thank you for being such a wonderful teacher. Every week I looked forward to another tutorial: your advice, guidance and explanations were so insightful. I have learned so much, and can sense how much more there is to learn. It has been fun to be on this international sleigh ride for the last 12 weeks. My winter days have been so much more enjoyable because I was playing this game. I appreciate the hours and hours you put in Lorin…all the research so you could understand where we were coming from with our links, and your lengthy explanations of why you chose a particular verse. Your efforts have undoubtably contributed to the success of future English renku.

  8. anoher enjoyable journey! thanks for the ride, Lorin!
    .
    we can imagine but only the sabaki knows the amount of time ans effort dedicated to the completion of this renku. it is all appreciated.
    .
    i think the renku reads well and we can be proud of our communal achievement. my overall impression is that the opening and closing sections are particularly strong but the middle may lack some of the fireworks one would expect from the “ha”. having said this, i’m aware the brevity of the junicho somewhat limits the number of topics that can be covered beside the regular moon, blossom (flower) and love and i think, Lorin, that overall you did a wonderful job.

    1. Hi Polona, and thanks. That’s interesting, your mention of the lack of ‘fireworks’ in the ‘ha’. I hadn’t even considered that, nor realised it was expected. I’ve considered the ‘ha’ section to be the ‘meandering’ phase.
      .
      Well, in the schema we’ve followed, the first two verses of our ‘ha’ phase were set as ‘love’ verses. We may not have ‘fireworks’ but at least we do have ‘smouldering’ in our first ‘love’ verse. 🙂 Barbara’s follow-up ‘love’ verse pairs well but also contrasts in tone and mood to the steamy first ‘love’ verse, introducing slapstick humour, Simon’s autumn verse recasts the couple as drunken parrots and the first line of Carol’s verse ‘on the wagon’ refers to a person or people who’re off the booze, a funny and clever link that quickly morphs into quite a different mood altogether with Ls 2 & 3, bringing in a sense of emptiness and the poverty of things in late autumn. Micheal’s verse takes this emptiness into a new context with his quotation from the mantra at the end of The Heart Sutra.
      .
      No ‘fireworks’ in the ‘ha’, but a wide range of mood, tone and topic: seduction with a Spanish accent, a slapstick marriage celebrant (occupation), the married pair morphing into drunken birds (bird & alcohol topics), a rural scene (farm, agriculture), and the mantra (Buddhism). Those are the 5 ‘ha’ verses… 2, in our schema, had to be ‘love’ verses. I was pleasantly surprised and grateful for the good links and re-contextualizations.
      .
      The opening verses (hokku & wakiku, Marta & Kala) and closing verses (Betty’s & Jackie’s verses, kyu phase) are more tightly linked than are the verses in our ‘ha’ phase (which they’re supposed to be). Lee’s daisan and Andrew’s flower verse (the two transition verses) seem to me to perform their function very well and our spring ageku gives a superb salutation.
      .
      One thing I’ve learned more about in the process is how every verse conditions the rest. A Master would have more foresight (which would come with more experience) than I do. I had no idea what verses would be offered for each spot nor how each added verse would lead to the next. Apart from the essential shift from uchikoshi and link to maeku, my focus has been on variety and, of course, inclusion of 12 verse authors.
      .
      With more foresight I would’ve find a way to avoid the 3 ‘talking’ verses in a row (daisan + love verses). Hindsight is a wonderful thing, though! It may be useful for others. 🙂
      .
      – Lorin

  9. What a wonderful wonderful body of work . . .wonderfully led and wonderful written! Congratulations one and all!

  10. haikudos (self-coined) to everyone who came along on this sleigh ride! I entered this renku session as a high school freshman would a post graduate class in a subject never before encountered…took a seat at the back and tried to learn and catch up! Lorin, you’ve made this such a fun experience and opened a whole new short form world. You are so encouraging, gracious, and helpful. I’m especially grateful for the “bibliography” provided. A great added learning device. I’m honored to have a verse in this junicho.
    .
    My favorite links have been the ones made with the poets here. It really is a community, isn’t it? Looking forward to reading all of your work online. Must say it would be an impossible task to choose the best in show from among the beautiful flowers in this garden. Blue ribbons around ! 8^)) Until next time. —Jackie

  11. Hi Lorin,
    I think you’ve been a great sabaki. Your instructions, comments and advice have been spot on.
    As for the piece itself, I feel we hit a dip at verses 3-5, where we have 3 talking verses in a row (telling, whispering and apologising), but apart from that the linking and shifting is good and the range of subject matter broad.
    Betty’s camera verse takes the biscuit for me!

    1. Thank you, Andrew. Your criticism of verses 3-5 is a fair one and I agree with it.
      .
      The daisan is a tricky verse, needing not only to completely shift from the hokku while linking to the wakiku, but also to turn or ‘break away’ from the hokku & wakiku pair. Lee’s verse does this well. I also loved Paul’s ‘Rossini’ verse, for its humour, in context, but it well & truly took me back to the hokku (hilariously! I couldn’t get ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ out of my mind, and worse, ‘Hi-ho Silver, and away!” All those madly galloping hoofbeats.)
      .
      Following the daisan with 2 ‘love’ verses was also tricky, but Liz Ann’s verse hit the right spicy, seductive note for me for a first love verse and linked well to the daisan. Barbara’s bumbling and breathless marriage celebrant introduced, for the first time, an identifiable person/character and the dry humour, in context, was very welcome. When combined, Liz Ann’s and Barbara’s verses delightfully put me in mind of scenarios verging on slapstick, such as in some old Peter Sellers or Mel Brooks films.
      .
      Which probably reveals more about my attitude to ‘love’ verses than anything. 🙂
      .
      So I appreciate the run of humorous verses of various kinds…from Barbara’s ‘marriage celebrant’ through to the first line of Carol’s verse . . . after our elegant hokku and wakiku and Lee’s exquisitely mundane daisan, in which I can well imagine being the captive audience to the local bore. . . “my life story . . .” blah blah blah. 🙂
      .
      There’s no escaping it, though: we do have 3 ‘talking’ verses in a row and I might’ve done better to avoid that.
      .
      – Lorin

      1. It could be fixed easily enough by substituting ’embarrassed’ for ‘apologizing.’
        (There’s another edit I would have liked, for purely selfish reasons.)

        1. It could’ve been, Chris. That’s a good suggestion. But now that it’s finished, can it be done? Jim already has the renku up in the archives. Well, I could ask. Our final week isn’t over yet.
          .
          What’s the other edit you have in mind? I’ll wait & see about that before contacting Jim.
          .
          – Lorin

    2. Righto, Andrew and Chris. I have Barbara’s approval now and have sent the verse change to Jim, cc John, for the archived version:
      .
      the marriage celebrant

      embarrassed about not

      arriving on time
      .
      – Barbara A. Taylor
      .

      Thanks for your help with this. If I’d clued in, I would’ve still accepted Barbara’s verse for the spot but made a change to L2, very much like this one suggested by Chris, before posting.
      .

      But I didn’t clue in, not even at the end. Duh! So many things to take into account.
      .
      Whatever Chris had in mind for another edit , I somehow don’t think the archived version of ‘Sleigh Ride’ is involved.
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Chris’s amendment makes for a good solution.
        We have a small renku group in London ( our motto: we don’t open the wine till after the 6th verse) and often make a minor edit or two after completing a work . I think this is fairly common practice nowadays, but don’t know if the old masters did this.

      2. Andrew, certainly Basho edited renku. 🙂 At a later date than when the renku was actually composed and sometimes, I’ve gathered , to the extreme. Whence came the somewhat sharp comment in response to a rare objection, passed down by Kyorai, along the lines of “If only one character (word) of your original verse remains, it is still your verse.” I get the impression that, for Basho, the composition gathering was one thing and publication was another.
        .
        Your live renku group sounds lovely. I wish there was an interest in a live renku group where I am, but there isn’t and even haiku poets are so far-flung.
        .
        – Lorin
        – Lorin

  12. A great, final verse for our Jûnicho from Christopher – I can just see all those tadpoles wriggling with anticipation as they are released into the world. Although I have not had a verse offering selected, I still say “our” Jûnicho, as there is always a sense of connection and collaboration between participants and sabaki in every renku on THF.

    Thanks our host John Stevenson and of course Lorin Ford for her indefatigable efforts at passing on her knowlege to those of us who are not so experienced in this form.

    From the first choice of verse, in this case Marta’s exhilarating sleigh ride (perhaps with all on board in high spirits after a visit to a hostelry en route!) I believe that the sabaki greatly influences the direction of the renku. The result in our case is a delightfully playful journey.

    Well done to Lorin and all involved. I can’t think of anything negative, except that it’s over! But we have Linda’s renku coming soon…

  13. Thanks, Lorin. I’ve enjoyed participating in this renku very much. I know you put a lot of effort into the process.
    As for not being selected. It is, as you say, thrilling to have a verse selected. But it’s fundamentally a game, and the nature of games is having a winner. The highlight for me is having a new verse to dig into.
    I thank everyone who participated for making the renku such a rich experience.

    Judt

  14. My sincere thanks to all participants, it was a real pleasure making your acquaintance as brief as it was and I am glad to now recognise your names here and there scattered over the world wide web. I shall read your creative gems from here on with greater interest. It was most heartening to be involved another international event within our global haiku community. Thank you so much Lorin for your insight, guidance, commitment and the many hours (and hours . . .) you gave to this project. I certainly gained a great deal and inkling too of how much remains to be learnt. All interesting and a lot of fun. The finished piece is most satisfying. It struck me that any number of poems could have emerged out of the many wonderful verses offered over the months all of them likewise satisfying. As it turns out the one to unfold is so so original and full of surprises, rather extraordinary.

  15. Hi Everyone

    It has been a fascinating journey, especially for someone quite new to the various forms of Japanese poetry. I have learnt a lot but take my hat off to the poets selected for either the beauty of their words, their ability to create layers of meaning or both. I was delighted to be on Lorin’s shortlist on quite a few occasions and am looking forward to working further on my verses to transform them into haiku.

    The commentaries were interesting, sometimes a little testy (which just shows poets are human!), and Lorin’s guidance masterly. I particularly enjoyed participating in the international collaborative writing.

    Thank you all for the great pleasure of being part of this over 12 weeks – amazing to have written 36 verses over that period.

    Best wishes

    Pauline

  16. Great fun, challenging, thought provoking, and mind expanding! Loved all the verses, parsing out their links and shifts, and am honored to have interacted with an international community brought together by a love of renku.
    Lorin, I know you worked incredibly hard as Sabaki…thank you! It’s a daunting task!
    To all the poets, it was such a pleasure reading each of your offerings.
    ☺Betty

  17. The junicho looks great, congrats to all involved. I wish I’d had the time to participate further. Unfortunately, I didn’t even always get time to read each week’s added verse, but caught up now and again.

  18. Thanks to all who contributed to this engaging junicho. It’s been a great pleasure to be part of the journey. Thank you, Lorin, for your guidance and detailed explanations.
    I think it reads very well. I look forward to participating in the next renku, they are good fun.

    Peace and Love
    B

  19. Thanks to all who’ve written a ‘kanso’ so far.
    .
    Yesterday, out of curiosity, I tallied up the number of participants for each verse of this renku and assigned gender. In the light of this, I find Jan Benson’s comment interesting: “. . . -I found the first half of the renku unduly “female” dominant in mindset and expression. Unbalanced. . . . the female dominance in verse could have been avoided.”
    .
    The Renku Sessions #7, Participants
    .
    1. hokku . . . 50 = 9 men , 41 women
    2. wakiku . . . 42 = 10 men, 32 women
    3. daisan . . . 37 = 11 men, 26 women
    4. . . . 34 = 7 men, 27 women
    5. . . . 23 = 4 men, 19 women
    6. . . . 23 = 5 men, 18 women
    7. . . . 23 = 5 men, 18 women
    8. . . . 23 = 4 men, 19 women
    9. . . . 23 = 3 men, 20 women
    10. . . . 19 = 3 men, 16 women
    11. . . . 16 = 2 men, 14 women
    12. ageku . . . 17 = 4 men, 13 women
    .
    Considering that women participants have so greatly outnumbered the men, I’d wondered if it might appear that I’d been favouring the men! One third of the selected verses are by men.
    .
    Unlike Jan, though, I find it difficult to distinguish between female and male ‘mindset’ and ‘expression’, in both renku verses and haiku from natives of ‘western’ countries. (I’m not so bad at guessing which haiku are written by Japanese men and which by Japanese women, though.)
    .
    The other thing I did, with the help of google, was to find out where the authors of selected verses are in the world. I knew some, but got a few surprises. For those interested:
    .
    – Marta Chocilowska (Poland)
    .
    – Kala Ramesh (India)
    .
    – Lee Nash (France)
    .
    – Liz Ann Winkler (British Columbia)
    .
    – Barbara A. Taylor (Australia)
    .
    – Simon Hanson (Australia)
    .
    – Carol Jones (Wales, UK)
    .
    – Michael Henry Lee (USA)

    – Andrew Shimield (UK)
    .
    – Betty Shropshire (USA)
    .
    – Jackie Maugh Robinson (USA)
    .
    – Chris Patchel (USA)
    .

    – Lorin

  20. I apologize for my translator’s English, I want to thank Lorin for her explanation work, and to congratulate all those who wrote the renku verses. !
    Very nice the final verse that brought us all back to the pond, like a rebirth from the primordial soup. I also want to add that the participation was very interesting and engaging.

  21. Congratulations, Chris Patchel. A wonderful childhood memory to end a delightful journey we have all travelled together.
    *
    I am thrilled one of my verses was chosen, even thought there was a considerable amount of controversy about it. Thanks for your support, Lorin.
    It has been truly amazing to read all the entries over the weeks, and a great learning curve reading the write-ups form our sabaki. Many thanks.
    I look forward to the next session.

  22. The link & shift challenge is the draw for me (especially links that are fun, interesting, subtle). When it comes to the overall arc of a renku I still have a ridiculous amount to learn. So thanks, Lorin, and all the other sabaki, for the ongoing tutorials.

  23. To the group.
    -Kudos to those who stayed with the process. There is honor in that.
    -Congratulations to the 12 selected poets and their verses.
    -I found the first half of the renku unduly “female” dominant in mindset and expression. Unbalanced. One thing i learned here is that the sabiki can justify almost any verse, and the female dominance in verse could have been avoided.
    -The sabiki used a more authoritarian, collegiate tone with participants than a community building, encouraging tone. Many teachable moments were lost.
    -The reason I took up with renku is because it is a bit of a puzzle.
    A brain trama in 2014 has shown me that recovery of memory and cognitive skills are best ignited by the challenge of a puzzle. With that, I had no great expectations of taking a verse.
    While I can not yet point to any strong evidence that this exercise has helped me find a new cognitive path, I have a better sense of how renku work.
    -Will I do another at some time? We will see.
    Regards

    Jan Benson
    USA

    1. Ah, well, Jan, no one person acting as sabaki can please everyone. Luckily, there have been a variety of sabaki for THF renku and hopefully there will be more.
      .
      I suspect this is the first THF renku you’ve been involved in. If you’re interested, I suggest you read through all the posts for the previous THF renku, which will give you some idea of each sabak’s style. Also, do become involved in the next renku. You might like Linda’s style better than you like mine, and she’s certainly more experienced as well as being one of your fellow nationals. Also, the forthcoming renku is one with 20 verses rather than just 12.
      .
      It’s a truism that we all, as ‘westerners’ and usually coming from EL haiku, find it difficult to adapt to a renku with a sabaki (no matter how experienced) and many participants.
      .
      – Lorin

  24. My thanks to Lorin for the wonderful trip together. Congratulations to the traveling companions who set the milestones

  25. Thank you very much, Lorin for this splendid adventure! I feel so happy and proud I could appear here with my sleigh ride, with all these wonderful poets.
    I’ deeply moved. Thanks with all my heart for your knowledge, patience and help!
    Love
    Marta

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