skip to Main Content

The Renku Sessions: Jûnicho – Week 10

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)

Please join me in the making of a Jûnicho and in making this collaborative poem an enjoyable experience for all involved.

Some Resources:

John Carley’s ‘Introduction to Renku’.

Renku Home.

THF renku archive here.

 

Verse #9, summer flower

23 renkujin submitted verses, the same number as last time. My thanks to you all! There were very good submissions for this verse, a great bouquet of different summer flowers and a variety of approaches. This time, it was much more difficult to make a choice. These are my ‘top ten’ for this spot:

 

once again/ cosmos have come back/ in the meadow                       – Judt Shrode

.

the swish and flick/ as we wade through/ riverbed lupins                – Sandra Simpson

.

sachets there/ and fresh lavender here/ to lightly scent                  – Betty Shropshire

.

a bee / disappears into the bell / of a foxglove                                      – Andrew  Shimield

.

wild irises/ sway to the rhythm/ of soft currents                                  – Jackie Maugh Robinson

.

the waft and flow/ of night-scented stock/ greets all who linger        – Mary Kendall

.

the coastal village/ lit by colors/ of bougainvillea                                 – Angiola Inglese

(I changed ‘road’ to village, here, since we have road in our hokku – L)

.

this shade/ and the bench with a view/ of hydrangeas                        – Polona Oblack

.

still beckoning/ in the supermarket/ lily fragrance                               – Chris  (Patchel?)

.

a rose nods/ against the old stones/of the lecture hall                         – Agnes Eva Savich

.

 

But I had to choose just one.

 

Verse #9 – Vanishing acts

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

 

I think many of us will be familiar with Basho’s famous ‘bee and summer flower’ haiku:

From deep within
the peony pistils, withdrawing
regretfully, the bee.                                              (Tr. Haruo Shirane)

Another haiku that springs to mind is Buson’s equally famous haiku about a butterfly sleeping on a huge Japanese temple bell:

On the temple bell
has settled, and is fast asleep,
a butterfly.                                                                  (Tr. Harold G. Henderson)

Andrew’s summer flower verse has traces of both, combined. On that level, we might consider this verse partially as homage to the Japanese masters. But that’s by the way, as background. What I’m drawn to most of all in this verse is the skill in linking to our maeku as shown in Ls 1 and 2: “a bee /disappears into the bell”. Not only is the bee ‘gone’ from sight, gone into the bell as we watch but, with our maeku’s chanted mantra lingering in my ears, I also perceive this bee as disappearing into the sound of a bell, a small bell rung at the end of a meditation session or a repeated mantra or maybe a huge, heavy Japanese temple bell, as in Buson’s haiku. What is the significance of bells in Buddhism and Zen? There is much symbolism, such as, “The sound of the bell equals the sound of the Dharma, or the entity or law, which sustains the order of things in the universe.” Most immediately though, the sound of a bell calls us to awareness, to what is, to the here-and-now. When we reach L3 of Andrew’s verse we discover that the bell in question is actually a different kind of bell, a foxglove bell. A bee disappears into it, fertilizing the flower as it gathers nectar. A transition is made from a bell that sounds to a flower-bell. The bee is gone, into the flower-bell. The sounding bell is gone, too, although a hint of its resonance lingers, transferred to the flower. We contemplate the tall, many-flowered foxglove.  (It’s interesting, as a side note, that in relation to the Heart Sutra of our maeku, foxgloves/digitalis are the source of effective medicines for physical heart conditions.) On the structural level, the straightforward syntax of this verse works well as a transition verse to our short kyu section. A very nice example of ‘link-and-change’ within the one verse, Andrew, as well as a layered link to our maeku.

(n.b. I changed the line break in Andrew’s verse to focus more on the bee for a moment, before it disappears.)

 

Schema

For our Jûnicho , we’re following this schema from John Carley’s Renku Reckoner: http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/index.php/updates/renku-reckoner-by-john-carley/

 

hokku      —    winter moon          (long)

wakiku    —    winter                      (short)

daisan     —    no season                (long)

verse  4   —    no season love       (short)

verse 5   —    no season love       (long)

verse 6   —    autumn                      (short)

verse 7   —    autumn                     (long)

verse 8    —    no season                (short)

verse 9   —    summer flower      (long)

 

  • verse 10 —    no season           (short)

 

verse 11  —    spring                        (long)

ageku      —    spring                         (short)

 

 

Verse #10: no season, short

  • is a two-line verse without a cut or turn
  • is a no season verse
  • links to the previous verse (the maeku) and shifts completely away from the last-but-one, the uchikoshi

Our ha section has ended with our transitioning flower verse. With verse 10, we enter the rather short kyu phase of our Jûnicho. No more meandering along the river. No lingering or loitering. The pace picks up. (In ‘The African Queen’, Katherine Hepburn takes the rudder and down the churning rapids the boat rushes, dodging dangerous rocks.) The kyu phase has been likened, by Master Zeami, to “the plunge of a mighty waterfall into a deep and silent pool.”  John Carley compares the kyu with the ha:

Ha encourages diversity of content and style whereas . . . kyu requires compaction and irresistibility. So whilst content may remain brash the prosody will now be unchallenging, the metres more conventional and the inter-verse linkage more tight. Intertextual direction is limited, too, the reader held close once more. We want our readers to experience the waterfall, not fly off in some random direction.” Renku Reckoner, p 91

Our kyu here is comprised of the two verses, 10 and 11. Verse 10 is a ‘no season’ verse. Our uchikoshi, Michael’s verse, is more likely to be set inside as a text or chanted mantra, though because of “with the wind”, the sound of the chanting would be carried outside. Michael’s verse moves from inside to outside. Our maeku, Andrew’s verse, to which we must link, is definitely outdoors. A quandary! I think we need Verse #10 to be either an ‘outdoors’ verse, or a verse that’s not specifically set either ‘outdoors’ or ‘indoors’. A challenge, to be sure! Because people are implied rather than stated in our uchikoshi, we could have an overt person again in verse #10, or not. City, industrial, architectural or outdoors domestic settings are just a few possibilities. So go where your intuitive links with the maeku take you, but avoid linking via sounds. The most important thing is the link to the maeku and the shift from the uchikoshi, avoiding anything reminiscent of our hokku, of course. The ABC for verse 10: (A) Please avoid any seasonal reference. (B) Link to our flower verse (our maeku). (C) Shift from the last-but-one (our uchikoshi). Enjoy the challenge of moving our renku swiftly forward.

 

Submissions:

  • Please use the ‘‘Leave a reply’ box down at the bottom of the thread to submit up to 3 of your short ‘no season’ verses. (Since the Jûnicho has 12 verses only and we have many participants, a verse by a different person will be selected each time. I hope those with a verse selected will continue to follow our renku as it unfolds. )
  • Please, if you wish to post a revision of any verse you’ve posted previously , use the ‘reply’ function at the bottom of your original post, NOT the submissions box at the bottom of the thread that reads ‘Leave a reply’.

Please post your submissions before midnight Monday 19th March Eastern USA time. (New York time)That’s the deadline. I find the World Clock handy.

I look forward to reading everyone’s submissions. The selected short no season verse and instructions for verse 11 will be posted next Thursday morning: March 22nd New York time.

– Lorin

 

 

Our Jûnicho to date

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
apologizes for 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

 

 

 

This Post Has 97 Comments

  1. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind
    *
    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove
    *
    finally awarded
    that spelling trophy

  2. Congratulations, Andrew! I love that little bee on the foxglove. A beautiful image and a very clever way to explore and move deeper into this renku.
    .
    .
    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove
    .
    the bascule bridge lowers
    and life moves on

  3. another chamber
    in Cheops’ pyramid?
    .
    or if proper names are out after the Heart Sutra allusion:
    .
    another chamber
    in the famous pyramid?

    1. 🙂 🙂 🙂 … Betty, there’s sure to be those who’d object to ‘poppycock because it contains ‘cock’, which is both an alternative name for a rooster (& we have ‘parrots’) & a vernacular name for a male body part.
      .
      Fun & games with renku! 🙂
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Was striving for a historical word no longer commonly used. Originally from the Dutch “pap + kak” for ‘soft dung’. I knew the eyebrows would rise…😄 but was reading my scifi novel and there it arose…couldn’t pass up the temptation being the miscreant that I am…cheers! 😊

        1. 🙂
          .
          I’m curious about which SF novel, Betty. I certainly picked up something of a SF novel, or several (though now it’s become reality) from one of your earlier verse offers.
          .
          cheers,
          – Lorin

          1. Gnomon by Nick Harkaway. It’s so very different from the space opera genre that I’ve read so much of.

    1. . . . ‘ticking’ rather than ‘clicking’, Chris? (because of the sounds (of chanting) in our uchikoshi)
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Yes,’ ticking’ might be a good option– though both clicking and ticking can involve sound or not ; )
        .
        “Clicking: Computers. to rapidly depress and release one of the buttons on a mouse or other input device: Just click on the link to get to the site.”
        .
        True, a computer mouse makes a clicking sound, but tapping on an iphone doesn’t and I think it would still be “clicking on the link to get to the site.”

        1. Hmmm… 🙂 at least ‘ticking’, as in ‘ticking all the the boxes’ (literally, as in ticking a box on a form with a pen) doesn’t suggest sound. Though ‘ticking’ in relation to a (mechanical) clock does of course suggest sound. And then there’s the sort of ticking that’s a textile, and that has nothing to do with the price of fish. 🙂 )
          .
          . . .even if tapping on your iPhone doesn’t make a sound, ‘tapping’ is still associated with sound. “Who’s that tip-tapping over my bridge?” or “Roger, will you quit tapping on the desk with your pencil? lt’s driving me crazy.”
          .
          Clicking one’s tongue was once a sign of disapproval. Our language hasn’t caught up with our new devices, so we use what are now really metaphors. ( I’ve not heard anyone say “touching the box” on touch-screen computers or phones . . . )
          .
          I digress. . . 🙂
          .
          – Lorin

          1. A google search shows that technical writers all struggle over whether to use: click, tap, select, choose, press… (one sample article below). But ‘click’ or ‘click on’ is the most used term (or ‘select’ if there’s more than one choice) and basically means: acutate/activate an onscreen link, button, checkbox, or whatever. That said, I’m fine with ‘ticking’ if you prefer.
            .
            http://iconlogic.blogs.com/weblog/2015/04/elearning-and-techcomm-click-select-choose-or-press.html

  4. Lorin. HELP!!!
    .
    Do you know what happened? My submission to this thread for #10 has been eliminated. Have I committed an unforgiven faux pas? May I put it up again????? Jackie

    1. Hi Jackie, I have no idea what might’ve happened! There’s no-one editing or deleting anyone’s posts. Perhaps a techie could supply an answer.
      .
      Hang on, I’ve now checked the thread: they’ve not vanished:
      .
      Jackie Maugh Robinson says

      March 17, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      .
      Lorin I so appreciate your
      honorable mention.
      .
      Your bee so busy going
      about the business of
      tending the foxglove crop—
      charming, Andrew.
      ~ ~ ~
      a bee
      disappears into the bell
      of a foxglove
      *
      pollen settles on the hem
      of my yellow dress
      *
      old message in a bottle
      with a bitter sweet tale
      *
      honeycomb shaped formula
      on science camp shirts
      .
      Jackie Maugh Robinson says

      March 17, 2018 at 4:14 pm
      .
      Lorin
      ,
      Vis a vis
      “honeycomb” shaped formula
      on science camp shirts…
      .
      If I use ‘hexagon formula’ or ‘hexagon shaped formula’ (which upon reflection is redundant as hexagon is a shape so forget that one, lol) would the word hexagon link to the bee’s honeycomb shape??
      .
      If so, then I change my offering to
      :
      hexagon formula
      on science camp shirts
      ;
      Otherwise I bee happy with the original. Thanks. -Jackie
      .
      🙂

      – Lorin

  5. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    *

    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove

    *
    choosing a Pasifika shirt
    for his ward rounds
    *

    (I know you said outdoors or neutral, but …)

  6. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    *

    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove

    *

    using the word ‘egress’
    in her Lego story

  7. Lorin I so appreciate your
    honorable mention.
    .
    Your bee so busy going
    about the business of
    tending the foxglove crop—
    charming, Andrew.
    ~ ~ ~
    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove
    *
    pollen settles on the hem
    of my yellow dress
    *
    old message in a bottle
    with a bitter sweet tale
    *
    honeycomb shaped formula
    on science camp shirts

    1. Lorin
      ,
      Vis a vis
      “honeycomb” shaped formula
      on science camp shirts…
      .
      If I use ‘hexagon formula’ or ‘hexagon shaped formula’ (which upon reflection is redundant as hexagon is a shape so forget that one, lol) would the word hexagon link to the bee’s honeycomb shape??
      .
      If so, then I change my offering to
      :
      hexagon formula
      on science camp shirts
      ;
      Otherwise I bee happy with the original. Thanks. -Jackie

    1. Hmmm … whilst ‘legs’ would be a ‘body part’, ‘leggings’ are an item of clothing. Perhaps someone might object on the grounds that ‘leggings’ contains the word’ legs’? Nothing would surprise me!!!
      .
      – Lorin

  8. Andrew, your image was aesthetically pleasing and clever too! Congratulations.

    There were many lovely verses – flowers are very inspirational.

    This week was harder. All the links to bells seemed to be noisy so I decided to link to the bee!

    Verse 1:

    script written
    for pollen allergy

    Verse 2:

    we live in a land
    of milk and honey

    Verse 3:

    white candles smell
    of honey and vanilla

    Next week, I’ll be in Japan on a haiku writing walking tour, and hope the cherry blossoms will inspire my contributions for the last verses!

  9. Lovely verse, Andrew.

    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    girls in a circle gossip
    about the new student
    .
    sisters buzz around
    with each changing idea

    1. Carmen, certainly not “circle gossip” after mantra chanting in our uchikoshi (mantras go round and round and round) . Even ‘buzz around’ in your 2nd verse, with its sound element in ‘buzz’ and again the circular ‘around’ links back to Michael’s verse.
      .
      I did make the point that we shouldn’t link by sounds in this verse.
      .
      – Lorin

  10. ******************************

    from a big screen on the seafront
    rings of Saturn

    ******************************

    in the planetarium room
    light of a cell phone

    ******************************

  11. laughing girls dive
    in the first ice cream
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    on the game of the three cards
    already drops in the evening
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    crazy races back and forth
    to dodge the waves on the sand

    1. a change to the first proposal

      laughing girls dive
      in their babà with cream
      +++
      on the game of the three cards
      already drops in the evening
      +++
      crazy races back and forth
      to dodge the waves on the sand

      1. Margherita, how interesting! (regarding your verse #2) I wasn’t sure so I googled:
        .
        “Three-card Monte – also known as find the lady and three-card trick – is a confidence game in which the victim, or “mark”, is tricked into betting a sum of money, on the assumption that they can find the “money card” among three face-down playing cards. It is the same as the shell game except that cards are used instead of shells.[1]”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-card_Monte
        .
        I’m pretty sure that’s what you intend. It’s also essentially the same as the old con game known as the ‘pea-and-thimbles’ trick. It’s certainly a clever and unexpected link to our maeku’s disappearing bee. 🙂
        .
        +++
        on the game of the three cards
        already drops in the evening
        +++
        .
        But ‘drops’ = ‘falls’, and we have ‘falling things’ in Kala’s wakiku. And also, we have ‘gone’ in our uchikoshi and of course the ‘money card’ has gone up the trickster’s sleeve. Another ‘disappearing act’.
        .
        just can’t win
        at Three-card Monte
        .
        (Save that one for another renku…you never know, a chance to use it may come up in the future)
        .
        – Lorin

  12. One more time with spaces!

    Lorin, Carol et al,
    .
    on the wagon
    a few bales
    of straw
    .
    – Carol Jones
    .
    I received an answer to the sleigh/wagon discussion from a haiku/renku expert and friend, Nobuyuki Yuasa: “As for the sleigh/wagon problem you mentioned, it does not bother me very much, but it may be wiser to avoid if it is possible because the movement of the renku after the first three verses seems to me rather slow. Of course, it all depends on how your sabaki feels. Your sabaki may be waiting till the renku is a little more advanced. Well, I was tempted to say ‘In front of the barn’, but the word ‘wagon’ provides such a good link to the following verse. So why not keep it? I do not think it is a fatal repetition.”
    .
    Carmen: I was thinking about the similarities and differences of sleighs and wagons. They both can have horses driving them, but a sleigh does not have wheels. I would think that a sleigh is more similar to a sled because of the lack of wheels. Perhaps, a sleigh is not a ‘vehicle’ unless it has horses and a wagon is not a vehicle unless it has a horse. Like the old song:
    .
    “Love and marriage, love and marriage
    They go together like the horse and carriage
    Dad was told by mother
    You can’t have one, you can´t have none
    You can’t have one without the other”

    1. ah, but, on returning: Who is it that wrote this part?
      .
      “Carmen: I was thinking about the similarities and differences of sleighs and wagons. They both can have horses driving them, but a sleigh does not have wheels. I would think that a sleigh is more similar to a sled because of the lack of wheels. Perhaps, a sleigh is not a ‘vehicle’ unless it has horses and a wagon is not a vehicle unless it has a horse. Like the old song:
      .
      “Love and marriage, love and marriage
      They go together like the horse and carriage
      Dad was told by mother
      You can’t have one, you can´t have none
      You can’t have one without the other”
      .
      Now I think that’s more likely to be you, since you used Nobuyuki Yuasa’s name with a colon after it before quoting! And also because of the song lyrics.
      .

      The days of horses and carriages are have now been over for almost a century! You don’t really imagine that a farm wagon is drawn by horses these days, do you? (Apart from within a small religious community in the USA)
      .
      – Lorin

    2. So, whilst it’s well enough to have Nobuyuki Yuasa’s opinion on ‘the sleigh/wagon problem’ :

      .
      “As for the sleigh/wagon problem you mentioned, it does not bother me very much, but it may be wiser to avoid if it is possible because the movement of the renku after the first three verses seems to me rather slow. Of course, it all depends on how your sabaki feels. Your sabaki may be waiting till the renku is a little more advanced. Well, I was tempted to say ‘In front of the barn’, but the word ‘wagon’ provides such a good link to the following verse. So why not keep it? I do not think it is a fatal repetition.” – Nobuyuki Yuasa
      .
      My query has not been answered:

      .
      Lorin Ford says
      .
      March 12, 2018 at 2:55 am
      .
      “In that way, it’s very much like the ‘sleigh/ farm wagon’ issue that came up last week, except that neither Paul nor I know of any authoritative resource which can clarify what is intended by ‘vehicle’ in one of the 3 available ‘tables of intermission’. Nor explain why ‘boat’, which appears on all 3 tables, is not included under ‘vehicle’ in the one table that also has ‘vehicle’. I’m sure, for every Japanese renku, there’d be someone who knew exactly what the category ‘vehicle’ includes and what it doesn’t, and why.
      .
      (Since you know the Japanese language, Carmen, and the tables on Renku Home are translated to English, perhaps you might have a better idea of what ‘vehicle’ means in relation to Japanese renku? )
      – Lorin
      .
      Carmen Sterba says
      March 12, 2018 at 3:07 am
      .
      I’ll get in touch with Nobuyuki Yuasa in Hiroshima.
      .
      Lorin Ford says

      March 12, 2018 at 3:38 am
      .
      Thanks, Carmen. I look forward to his explanation. It can be frustrating, not understanding what’s intended. All I have is intuition, and that’s based on my own life experiences, not on the Japanese. So much is understood in terms of culture, whatever our culture is in this world.
      .

      Carmen, did you not even ask him what the category ‘vehicle’ is intended to include and what it doesn’t include? If you did, he hasn’t responded and I’m as much in the dark as I was before. But I have the feeling that you didn’t ask him, but decided to send him your musings on the relationship between Carol’s verse and our hokku, instead.
      .
      “. . . . I was thinking about the similarities and differences of sleighs and wagons. . . . “- Carmen
      .

      which is followed by quoting the lyrics of an old American song:
      .
      “Love and marriage, love and marriage
      They go together like the horse and carriage
      . . .

      You can’t have one without the other”
      .
      Which I’d class as a covert attempt to influence his judgement, since you’re saying, in effect, that ‘you can’t have love without marriage and you can’t have marriage without love’ (a dubious statement, at best) and you can’t have a horse without a carriage or a carriage without a horse (demonstrably untrue) so therefore if you have a sleigh, horses are implied and if you have a wagon, horses are also implied!
      .

      I suspect he did not answer because you did not ask him the question! Instead, you decided to send him a link to our renku to date (or the like) and your musings on the relationship of Carol’s verse and our hokku!
      .
      We still do not have any answers: 1. What, precisely, is included in the topic ‘vehicle’ and what is not? 2. Since a boat is undeniably a vehicle, why is it placed in a separate category, ‘boat’ in the one table which includes ‘vehicle’? 3. Why is ‘vehicle’ not a category in the other two tables, whilst ‘boat’ is a topic in all three?
      .
      It’s these questions I hoped for answers to, rather than his assessment of Carol’s verse or this renku!!! (. . . and I don’t think he understood the wordplay of ‘on the wagon’ in relationship with Simon’s verse, otherwise it wouldn’t have even for a moment entered his head to change ‘on the wagon’ to ‘in front of the barn’. )
      .
      Sometimes I wonder whether even you & I speak the same language, Carmen! It’s very time-consuming.
      .

      Anyway, this is over. We move on, unenlightened though I am.
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Lorin says, “I suspect he did not answer because you did not ask him the question! Instead, you decided to send him a link to our renku to date (or the like) and your musings on the relationship of Carol’s verse and our hokku!”
        .
        I did not add my opinions or some lyrics to the email I sent to Nobuyuki Yuasa. It’s true, I did not ask him why boats are not included as vehicles because I wanted to stay on the question, “Is it correct to have a sleigh and a wagon in a renku.” I think we all agree by now that the sleigh and wagon are allowed. Carol, I’m happy that your wagon will stay.
        .
        Japanese is a language that is spoken and written indirectly. Therefore, an answer is usually at the end of a sentence or paragraph instead of the beginning.

        1. “I did not add my opinions or some lyrics to the email I sent to Nobuyuki Yuasa. ” – Carmen
          .
          Ah, ok. In context of your post, I assumed you had.
          .
          “I did not ask him why boats are not included as vehicles because I wanted to stay on the question, “Is it correct to have a sleigh and a wagon in a renku.” I think we all agree by now that the sleigh and wagon are allowed.” – Carmen
          .
          Ok, I understand that the answer you wanted was ““Is it correct to have a sleigh and a wagon in a renku.” The answer I wanted, though, and understood you intended to ask of Nobuyuki Yuasa, was: ” What things are intended to be included under the topic category, ‘vehicle’?” (‘vehicle’ is extremely broad: anything that carries anything, from a spacecraft that carries people through a supermarket trolley that carries groceries through a jinker attached to a truck cabin that carts logs to an email that carries a message.) If we had an answer to that question, we’d have a guideline for future renku, based on the point of view of Nobuyuki Yuasa, which would certainly be good enough for me.
          .
          ” I think we all agree by now that the sleigh and wagon are allowed.” – Carmen
          .
          We don’t really have an answer as to whether ‘sleigh’ and ‘wagon’ would be verboten or not in a Japanese renku, we have:
          .
          “it does not bother me very much,. . . I do not think it is a fatal repetition.” – Nobuyuki Yuasa
          .
          Which is great news! It suggests that the topic categories (whatever is included or not included in them) can be approached in a more flexible manner than the objections to Carol’s ‘wagon’ on this forum would suggest. This answer shows that the ‘topics’ (+ periods of intermission,, etc.) are not so much rules (given from on high and carved in stone like Moses’s 10 Commandments) but helpful guidelines to assist in making a good renku, guidelines which are open to interpretation.
          .
          “Carol, I’m happy that your wagon will stay.” – Carmen
          .
          Carmen, let me assure you that it was going to stay anyway, whomever had objections. As every other selected verse in this renku will stay, subject to minor revisions if needed. If “most renku friends” find faults in this renku, such is life. This renku will stand as is, real or perceived flaws or none. I do my best, as a novice sabaki, to make a good renku from the given material under the existing conditions, as does everyone who takes on the role of sabaki, from great master through the very experienced to the novice. ‘Good’ and ‘inclusive’ is my aim. Perfection is beyond me.
          .
          – Lorin

          1. corrections to my sloppy grammar!
            .
            “… the answer you wanted was to the question: “Is it correct . . .”

            .
            “… The answer I wanted, though, and understood you intended to ask of Nobuyuki Yuasa, was to the question: ” What things are intended . . . ”
            .
            – Lorin

          2. ‘Carmen, let me assure you it was going to stay anyway, whomever had objections.’

            Thank you , Lorin.

  13. Lorin, Carol et al,

    on the wagon
    a few bales
    of straw

    – Carol Jones

    I received an answer to the sleigh/wagon discussion from a haiku/renku expert and friend, Nobuyuki Yuasa: “As for the sleigh/wagon problem you mentioned, it does not bother me very much, but it may be wiser to avoid if it is possible because the movement of the renku after the first three verses seems to me rather slow. Of course, it all depends on how your sabaki feels. Your sabaki may be waiting till the renku is a little more advanced. Well, I was tempted to say ‘In front of the barn’, but the word ‘wagon’ provides such a good link to the following verse. So why not keep it? I do not think it is a fatal repetition.”

    Carmen: I was thinking about the similarities and differences of sleighs and wagons. They both can have horses driving them, but a sleigh does not have wheels. I would think that a sleigh is more similar to a sled because of the lack of wheels. Perhaps, a sleigh is not a ‘vehicle’ unless it has horses and a wagon is not a vehicle unless it has a horse. Like the old song:

    “Love and marriage, love and marriage
    They go together like the horse and carriage
    Dad was told by mother
    You can’t have one, you can´t have none
    You can’t have one without the other”

    1. Thanks, Carmen. That’s wonderful that he replied so quickly! 🙂
      .

      This is very interesting:
      .
      “I was thinking about the similarities and differences of sleighs and wagons. They both can have horses driving them, but a sleigh does not have wheels. I would think that a sleigh is more similar to a sled because of the lack of wheels. Perhaps, a sleigh is not a ‘vehicle’ unless it has horses and a wagon is not a vehicle unless it has a horse. Like the old song:

      “Love and marriage, love and marriage . . . ”
      .
      Our hokku has a sleigh (no wheels) and is being pulled along by those sturdy little Polish horses. Our ‘wagon’ does have wheels and does not have horses pulling it along (or even a tractor, which is far more likely, these days). It’s immobile, in a shed (or ‘barn’ as sheds seem to be more often called in the USA). It’s not going anywhere.
      .
      Also, it’s very nice to have this confirmation from an expert!
      .
      “. . . the word ‘wagon’ provides such a good link to the following verse. So why not keep it? I do not think it is a fatal repetition.”
      .
      Maybe he means to the preceding verse? Certainly, ‘on the wagon’, when read for it’s colloquial meaning, is a good (& unexpected) link to the drunken parrots. 🙂
      .

      – Lorin

  14. children play hide and seek
    in granny’s garden

    ***

    a game of hide and seek
    in granny’s garden

    ***

    the cat on the roof
    scratches its ear

    1. Todd, I’d be tied to a pole and roasted if I included a verse with ‘taxi’ in it after ‘sleigh’. They’re both means of transportation … maybe ‘vehicles’, though what is and what isn’t included in the Japanese category of ‘vehicle’ is still unclear.
      .
      – Lorin

  15. thanks for choosing my verse, Lorin. and thanks for the kind comments of others.
    I’ll follow the rest of the junicho with interest
    Andrew

  16. Thank you, Andrew for your poignant verse. The critical analysis by Lorin is worth praising. I have humbly preserved the valuable comments by Lorin during the meandering journey of renku writing. Kudos to all for their poetic participation.

    ***

    my quick answer
    in the quiz competition

    *****
    the old man
    finds his lost letter

    *****
    the baby with her mouth
    open for another drop of honey

    ******

      1. Actually, P.K., of the two versions I prefer:
        .
        my quick answer
        in the quiz competition
        .
        🙂
        .
        – Lorin

  17. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    *
    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove

    *
    during the moment’s silence
    numerous telephones

    1. Sandra,
      .
      A ‘moment’s silence’ is so often associated with showing respect for those who’ve ‘gone’, who’ve died. We need to avoid focusing on anything that’s gone in this verse. . . people, yesterday, past times, historical events. Also, in this short kyu phase, the emphasis is on ‘moving swiftly forward’, ‘moving on’.
      .
      – Lorin

      – Lorin

  18. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    *
    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove

    *
    in the panic room
    an outsize jar of honey

  19. Hi Lorin, I’m having fun participating and I thank you for noticing some of my verses. I am sorry to have difficulty writing in English, I would like to say that up to now I have not commented on all the verses that have been chosen, but now I have to say that they are all very beautiful. Let’s continue, then, congrats to all .

  20. Andrew excellent verse, the imagery is straight forward and subtle at the same time✌️🙏🏻 *************************bulilding bridges. before it’s too late

  21. Congratulations, Andrew Shimield
    .
    a bee
    disappears into the bell
    of a foxglove
    .
    .
    the roller coaster
    drops with wind shear force
    .
    .
    Jan Benson
    USA
    #1, verse 10

    1. Jan, we can’t have ‘wind’ again. ‘Wind’ is part of Michael’s verse, our uchikoshi.
      .
      – Lorin

    2. . . . and if I selected a verse with ‘roller coaster’ in it, after the kerfuffle about ‘sleigh’ & ‘wagon’, I’d be drawn and quartered!
      .
      – Lorin

  22. Hi Loren. I guess I forgot to include my last name.
    Isn’t it a no-no to include 2 references/allusions, especially back to back? Just curious. I’m also puzzled by the inside-outside comments. (Given my very limited knowledge of renku norms I would guess the variety rule would call for an indoor verse?)

    1. Ah, it is you, Chris. 🙂 That was a sheer guess, on my part. Good morning! (or probably evening for you)
      .
      “Isn’t it a no-no to include 2 references/allusions, especially back to back? ” – Chris
      .
      “2 references/ allusions back-to-back” . . . I’m not sure what you mean. Scratching my head & guessing . . . in relation to Michael’s verse & Andrew’s verse? Michael’s verse, with the direct quotation of the mantra, alludes to the Heart Sutra, making it a verse with the topic Buddha/ Buddhism. Andrew’s verse is a ‘summer flower verse’. (In renku there are 3 required topics: ‘moon’, ‘flower’ and ‘love’.) Are these the verses you mean by ‘back-to-back’?
      .
      Linking is what makes renku something quite other than a collection of miscellaneous verses. Each added verse must link, in some manner or another, to its preceding verse. Done well, as Andrew has done, we can link via allusion or reference. I’ve never heard of any prohibitions about allusion or reference in renku, whether within a verse or between maeku and tsukeku ! What’s to be avoided is linking between tsukeku (current verse, ‘added verse’) and uchikoshi (last-but-one verse)
      .
      “…also puzzled by the inside-outside comments. (Given my very limited knowledge of renku norms I would guess the variety rule would call for an indoor verse?)”
      .
      ‘Link & Shift’ is the primary driving force of renku. ‘Shift’ means that the added verse must bear no relation to the last-but-one verse. In the case of Andrew’s verse, the last-but-one (the uchikoshi) is Carol’s:
      .
      on the wagon/ a few bales/ of straw
      .
      It is a ‘late autumn’ verse. Is it set indoors or outdoors? To my mind, a wagon or trailer with a few bales of straw on it in late autumn would be under cover, ‘inside’ a shed or barn where the bales can stay dry and be handy to replace soiled straw in animal stalls, chicken coops etc. The animals need clean, dry bedding. Sweep, hose down and replace the straw. (My country background is sometimes useful. 🙂
      .
      So Andrew’s verse is in the clear. It doesn’t return to its uchikoshi, Carol’s verse. It’s clearly set outside, where bees fly about and foxgloves grow.
      .
      For our next verse, verse #10, things get trickier! Where is our new uchikoshiset?
      .
      gone, gone, gone all the way . . ./ with the wind – Michael Henry Lee
      .
      Inside, outside, both? A sacred text would be kept inside, people chanting a mantra would usually (but not always) be ‘inside’. The wind is ‘outdoors’. To my mind, Michael’s verse moves from ‘indoors’ to ‘outdoors’. The text of the mantra becomes a chant then is carried away, ‘gone with the wind’. Alternatively, the listener , who may be anywhere within earshot, inside or outside, hears the chanting of the mantra coming to his ears ‘with the wind’. So when it comes to simplistically designating ‘indoor’ or ‘outdoor’ setting, I think we simply can’t. And that’s fine.
      .
      But, for verse #10, there’s a quandary! Should I prompt participants to set it inside or outside? Neither, really. From inside to outside, as in Michael’s verse, is something that needs to be avoided now for our verse #10. (Likewise, ‘mirroring’, going from outside to inside.)
      .
      This verse a no-season verse, it needs to link to our maeku, Andrew’s verse. And shift from Michael’s verse, our uchikoshi . I think we need to focus on something that’s not of the natural world, now, for variety’s sake. But as far as setting it indoors or outdoors goes, what would be best of all would be neither.
      .
      It does get harder as a renku progresses! There are things, though, that are always with us that don’t imply either indoors or outdoors: certain activities, plans, ideas, concepts, thoughts, counting/ calculation, colours, our clothes, our sensations, our senses (but not our sense of hearing this time), our ‘what if-s?, our ‘as if-s’ and our ‘how would it be-s?’. . .
      .
      Linking (to maeku) & shifting (from uchikoshi) is essential, as is not returning in any way to the hokku. Beyond that, we don’t revisit prior topics. We bring something new. This verse requires some thinking out of the box!
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Chris…
        When I read this
        .
        on the wagon
        a few bales
        of straw

        – Carol Jones
        .
        My mind went to the “haywain”s wagon”, famous painting.
        Clearly outdoors.
        That said, the sajiki is always right.
        Jan in Texas

        1. Jan, that’s interesting. Perhaps the painting you refer to is Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’. Well, ‘wain’ is a now old-fashioned word for that sort of wagon, which of course has been somewhat updated over the last couple of hundred years and is much more likely nowadays to be made of metal and to be drawn to wherever it’s going by a tractor than by horses or bullocks.
          .
          As to ‘outdoors or indoors’, it’s true that it’s open to interpretation. Just the fact that it’s a ‘late autumn’ verse (the context which has to be taken into account) + the ‘few’ bales of straw (not hay) made me suspect it’d most likely be under cover, to keep the straw dry. I was happily shown I wasn’t far off the mark when Carol commented after the verse choice was posted:
          .
          ““The idea for this poem came when I was having a coffee break in the silence of the straw shed, and indeed there were a few bales on a trailer.” – Carol (March 1, 2018 at 1:24 pm . The Renku Sessions: Jûnicho – Week 8
          .
          But that doesn’t prove I was ‘right’ in any real sense. It’s simply that, as sabaki, I deem it to be under shelter (for fairly logical reasons, in context, I think.) The thing is, we all have different sensibilities, different life experiences and we don’t all interpret things in exactly the same way. If we did all interpret things in the same way, we’d be clones and we’d not need a sabaki. But every renku would be pretty much the same.
          .
          Someone’s got to do the job.
          .
          – Lorin

        2. Well Janis you certainly picked up the ambiance of the verse, a quiet trek home after the hustle and bustle in the field.
          But as I said it was the peace and serenity of my surroundings INSIDE the barn and an unused trailer or wagon we no longer use with some straw on it. Nothing complicated it is what it is.
          maybe this would have been more to the liking-

          *
          one wheel
          on the wagon and
          a few bales of straw

          that wouldn’t be going anywhere, would it?
          *

          I didn’t think that peace and space would be obvious in the verse but Lorin saw and felt the words provided.

      2. Yes, ‘gone gone’ alludes to the Heart Sutra, and ‘bee’ alludes to Basho’s famous haiku. So I was wondering if ‘allusions’ might then constitute a renku topic (not unlike flowers, food, love, current events…) to be used once and not repeated. I can’t recall if any discussions of allusions came up with previous renku (on this site), but in one renku there was a verse that alluded to Pinocchio, so then ‘fairy tales’ became a topic not to be repeated for the rest of the renku.
        .
        Re: indoors-outdoors, you summed up what I was thinking with: “I think we need to focus on something that’s not of the natural world, now, for variety’s sake.”

        1. Ah, I understand you now, Chris. Allusions are just part of the linking toolkit, they’re not ‘topics’ in themselves. Japanese kigo, for instance (at least the older ones which have ‘honi’/ ‘heart meaning’. . . I have my doubts about ‘air conditioner!) are so coded, so full of allusions that a contemporary Japanese needs to consult a saijiki of a size that I would find it hard to even lift without a course in weight-training! No exaggeration. I’ve seen one, and it beats the 3 volumes of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary by about twice.)
          .
          Yes, ‘fairytales’/ children’s stories would be a subset of Literature, I imagine. So not only would ‘Cinderella’ be avoided for a while after ‘Pinocchio’, but so would ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘Anna Karenina’, Eliot’s ‘Prufrock’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’. Maybe even tall stories at the pub on a Friday night would infringe. (A lullaby would be questionable, too, though not an opera or pop song.) It’s not that they’d be banned altogether, though. In a longer renku, say the 36 verse Kasen, there’d be a designated ‘period of intermission’, a count of so and so many verses before the topic ‘Literature’ could occur again. In a 12 verse renku, a topic would best not recur again at all.
          .
          In the one example of Tables of Intermission (sarikirai & kukazu that’s available to me (in Herbert Jonsson’s ‘Haikai Poetics’)
          http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2%3A189883/FULLTEXT01.pdf
          .
          there is, for instance, a two-verse avoidance between ‘insect and beast’. eg. if we have a cow in verse 5 we need to wait until two more verses are in place before we can have a flea, bee, spider etc. & vice versa. In a longer renku.
          .
          ‘Bee’, in Andrew’s verse may allude to Basho’s verse (or not) and for all I know, Basho’s verse might allude to an earlier Japanese verse. But we don’t have Basho’s verse in this renku. There’s only the one verse with reference to ‘Literature’, Michael’s. . . ‘Gone With the Wind’ . Two references, if we count sacred text as ‘Literature’ (which I’d be inclined to do). These are in the one verse and that’s fine in a short renku. The topics involved in Andrew’s verse are ‘insect’ and ‘summer flower’. (On the word level, we probably would question a subsequent appearance of the animal, ‘fox’ and even ‘foxy women’ after ‘foxglove’)
          .
          Andrew’s bee is a common bee, whatever we might associate a bee with. (topic category – ‘Insect’.) If we had ‘hive mind’ (topic category– Science) in our maeku a bee in the garden in the next verse would make a good link. But if we had ‘hive mind’ in our uchikoshi (last-but-one) we would definitely avoid bee, ant, etc in our tsukeku (added verse). In a short renku, like the Junicho, if we had ‘bee’ anywhere, we’d not want ‘hive mind’ in any subsequent verse. Nor any further insect, for that matter.
          .
          . . . and if anyone dares to object to Andrew’s ‘bee’ on the grounds that we have ‘parrots’ earlier and both have wings I’ll lay the curse of John Carley upon them. 🙂
          .
          But extra-textual references/ allusions are fine in themselves. We read them into the verse or not.
          .
          – Lorin

    2. . . . BUT for our kyu section, we leave the complexities and meanderings of the ha phase behind. It’s about swiftly moving forward for these next two verses, no lingering, no weaving to and fro. ‘speed-rush’.
      .
      – Lorin

    1. Mary, we can’t have ‘heart’, as heart is implied in Michael’s verse, our uchikoshi. (The Heart Sutra). If that wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t be committing the major renku ‘crime’ (returning to last-but-one / kannonbiraki) but since Digitalis is the botanical genus name for foxglove it’s on the same level as following a verse with a cat in it with ‘feline’, ‘Felis domesticus ‘ or Felix’ or a verse with ‘ice-cream’ in it with ‘gelati’ . . . just very obvious repetition.
      .
      – Lorin

  23. Loved this verse when I first read it for the accurate vision alone, such a lovely sight, so glad it was chosen for this section, Andrew.
    A wonderful description of the verse, Lorin.
    *
    Congratulations, Andrew.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top