I’m Sandra Simpson, and I will serve as your guide as we compose a 12-verse junicho (june-ee-cho, as in choke).
Thank you to all the poets – 19 of you – who contributed offerings for our hokku, or lead verse. There were a number of verses that appealed, among them:
the heavy slap
of water colors
– Betty Shropshire
A tremendously striking image. Has an alligator appeared in a hokku before?
curved for the new screech-owl box
first oak blossoms
– Paul MacNeil
An author who wasn’t afraid to try a blossom in the hokku (not as easy in a winter poem).
a pupil suggests we pray
– Marion Clarke
rabbit tracks all over
the apple orchard
– Polona Oblak
everything is mice and men
through the snow
– Alan Summers
our steps weaving
through the deer tracks
– Maureen Virchau
I was interested that so few poets have used a visible cut. As this is the only verse in the junicho that will have a cut, I wonder why so many poets (scroll through the Comments section of the call for a hokku) shied away from using a visible cut? I expect there’s a thesis in it somewhere!
I have settled upon this verse to open our poem:
cooling off –
our feet in the river
with the ducks
– Lorin Ford
And not only because I’m sitting in late summer! It opens our junicho with a nice “sense” image and leaves somewhere for the author of the wakiku to go – the passing of the baton from poet to poet is also a skill to be developed in renku.
The next verse is the wakiku and I am looking for:
- A 2-line poem that is not cut
- A poem that subtly reinforces the summer season of the hokku or is no-season and reinforces the hokku is another way (this is an option peculiar to the junicho form)
- A poem that in conjunction with the hokku could be read as a tanka.
- A poem that is mild/pleasant in tone (jo phase).
Please enter your candidate verses in the Comments section below.
All verse positions in this junicho will be degachi, that is competitive, and the final poem will comprise stanzas written by 12 different poets.
As our poem is so short we can approach it in a more leisurely fashion, so please submit only 3 candidate verses for each position, rather than using a “shotgun” approach and offering several versions of the same verse, plus others.
I will allow a week between each verse selection so you will have plenty of time to consider your submissions before making them.
For information about junicho and renku, please refer to the Introduction post.
And, remember, have fun with your writing!