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The Renku Sessions: New Calendar 18

renkuchainWelcome to The Haiku Foundation’s Fifth Renku Session: New Calendar. I am John Stevenson, leading my second Kasen (36 verse) renku on this site. We will be trying something a little different this time. Instead of making all of the selections myself, new verses will be selected by the poet who wrote the preceding verse. This will be on a voluntary basis and I remain ready to preform this task for anyone who prefers to pass up the opportunity.

Maureen Virchau has made this week’s selection. Here is her report:

“Thank you to everyone for all the candidate verses. I sincerely appreciate your creativity, hard work, and enthusiasm. And thank you for being so open, engaging, and kind. It has been a very enjoyable and educational experience.

I’ve chosen Polona’s wonderful verse:

six pairs of boots
by the pilgrim shrine

    1. –Polona Oblak

Polona’s verse immediately struck me with its positive and peaceful energy. I felt it best for us to stay within the arena of positivity given the fact that tension is highlighted in Carmen’s verse. I was also drawn to its introduction to unexplored subject matter as it contains both religion and a number.

This verse links to the blossom verse in a variety of ways. “Six pairs” provides a clear link to “Dutchman’s breeches” as this plant’s clusters of white flowers have an amusing resemblance to multiple pairs of pantaloons drying on a clothesline. “Boots” naturally offer a close link to “breeches” as both are items to be worn. “Pilgrim” also presents an interesting link since this flower’s name most likely has a connection to early Dutch settlers in America as Carmen stated in her commentary.

The verse’s shift transports us from the great outdoors to an even greater interior landscape. Ever so gently, we are introduced to the element of religion. We take off our shoes, open the door to a sacred place of worship, and step deep within our selves.

Thank you so much, Polona, for a fantastic verse. And thank you, John, for this opportunity to switch roles, for your words of wisdom, and all that you do for THF.”

I probably should have suggested an edit of those last two phrases but I do thank you Maureen. It was a pleasure to see the thought and discernment you applied to this task. Congratulations to Polona!

Polona Oblak will be offered the opportunity to select the next verse. Polona, please contact me, either in a reply below or by e-mail (ithacan@earthlink.net) to let me know whether you accept this offer. If you do, I will ask you to choose the next verse in accordance with the requirements listed below and to write a paragraph or two about your selection and send it to me on Wednesday morning (May 10) so that I can incorporate it in the next posting, which appears on the following day. If you would rather not make the selection, I will do so, but I would prefer to know that I’ll be doing that as early as possible

Verse nineteen will be the third in this series of spring verses, in three lines, this time. A “late spring” or “all spring” seasonal reference (kigo) would be welcome here.

Verse nineteen must link to the eighteenth verse (and only the eighteenth verse) but it also must clearly shift away from it in terms of scene, subject, and tone.

A word about the use of numbers in renku: if a number is specified in a verse, any subsequent verse that specifies a number must use a higher number, never a lower one. This is a technical example of the overall principle of forward motion. Of course, no further mention of numbers is required. Polona’s verse presents us with an interesting technical question. Is the number six or twelve?

You will have until Tuesday night to make your offers. The Haiku Foundation site has been busy lately and the link to our renku session has not always been obvious on the home page. There is a permanent “Renku Sessions” button a little further down the home page and you can always reach the current session via this route. We will continue to check for new verse offers through each Tuesday.

With best wishes to all,
John

 

New Calendar to Date

new calendar
a year of
“Natural Wonders”

    –John Stevenson

a clownfish offers
the first greeting

    –Peter Newton

taking a fistful
of freshly tilled earth
to my cheek

    –Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

café aromas
on the warm breeze

    –Maureen Virchau

sound of a flute
slowly rising
with a hazy moon

    –Dru Philippou

flickering light of a bike
from the side road

    –Marina Bellini

under the bed-sheet
tales of bold highwaymen
and horse-drawn coaches

    —Lorin Ford

has the lord executed
his droit du seigneur

    —Polona Oblak

Jimmy Carter
and Rosalynn
on the kiss cam

    —Judt Shrode

after the picnic
some spirited croquet

    —Michael Henry Lee

the old quarry
so deep and cold
and daring

    —Mary Kendall

her scars stay hidden
though the neckline plunges

    –Debbie Feller

each time I wake
the moon lights
something different

    —Gabrielle Higgins

the whir of dragonfly wings
in the remaining heat

    —Sally Biggar

a neutrino
passes through the chestnut
and the worm, too

    —Lorin Ford

the tension of the needle
piercing linen

    —Carmen Sterba

Dutchman’s breeches
sprout along a cliff’s
ragged edge

    —Maureen Virchau

six pairs of boots
by the pilgrim shrine

    –Polona Oblak

This Post Has 72 Comments

    1. Hi Karen, thanks . . . looks like you’ve been there, too! 😉

      Maybe :

      a multitude
      of sharp elbows at the
      end-of-spring sales

      – Lorin

    1. *Politics of gaining a U.S. visa: either by lottery in May or by buying in with huge sums of money such as being promoted in China by relatives of our president.

  1. On behalf of Barbara A. Taylor, who is still having problems getting her computer to interface with this site:

    in full flight
    fledglings skim
    through the archway

    1. I’m not sure if it is the case elsewhere, but here in Ireland kids always seems to be stuck indoors when revising for their exams in May.
      .
      exam time
      prayers
      for rain

  2. Dutchman’s breeches
    sprout along a cliff’s
    ragged edge
    .
    —Maureen Virchau
    .
    six pairs of boots
    by the pilgrim shrine
    .

    –Polona Oblak
    .
    a late lamb
    grazing the foothills
    of Chimayó
    .
    – Karen Cesar

  3. Dutchman’s breeches
    sprout along a cliff’s
    ragged edge
    .

    —Maureen Virchau
    .
    six pairs of boots
    by the pilgrim shrine
    .

    –Polona Oblak

    .
    baskets of apples
    carried from orchard
    to cider press
    .
    – Karen Cesar

    1. * Sorry, Polona, I somehow moved over into autumn. Ignore this offer. 🙂

  4. Dutchman’s breeches
    sprout along a cliff’s
    ragged edge
    .
    —Maureen Virchau
    .
    six pairs of boots
    by the pilgrim shrine
    .

    –Polona Oblak
    .
    changing colors
    in the transition zone
    between land and sea
    .
    – Karen Cesar

  5. Dutchman’s breeches
    sprout along a cliff’s
    ragged edge
    .

    —Maureen Virchau

    .
    six pairs of boots
    by the pilgrim shrine
    .

    –Polona Oblak
    .
    the street vendor
    ties a bright red balloon
    to a toddler’s wrist
    .
    – Karen Cesar

    1. At least this one is spring! Don ‘t know how I confused myself. Sorry.

  6. “Polona’s verse presents us with an interesting technical question. Is the number six or twelve?: – John


    Both? 🙂
    6 pairs (the pairs relate to the Dutchman’s breeches, which bloom in pairs that look like old-fashioned bloomers or traditional Dutch pants) but 12 boots.


    – Lorin

      1. . . . but perhaps the possessive is better avoided for a while after ‘Dutchman’s’ & ‘cliff’s’ in the leap-over/ last-but -one verse.

        – Lorin

        1. I agree, Lorin. Best to avoid most repetition such as key words, patterns of style (punctuation), placements of parts of speech, and opening and closing structure in a verse. This can yield variety the same way we expand the realm of topics.

    1. ok, that doesn’t work : /

      the kite we fly
      from our tenement roof
      breaks free

  7. NEW THREAD re:

    “if there is to be any further discussion on this theme i would appreciate it be started in a new thread.” – Polona

    “Hi everyone. I see that I have been responsible for an error. It was my suggestion to use “pilgrim” as the kigo in the previous verse. As has been pointed out, this is a problem for a world renku since there is no matching springtime tradition of pilgrimage in the Southern Hemisphere.

    This renku is for fun and learning. My error is an occasion for learning. The verse will stand as it is and let’s just try to avoid repeating my error as we go on.” – John

    John, thanks for your input. Of course Polona’s verse should stay, having been chosen!
    There is no specifically spring pilgrimage that I know of in the Southern hemisphere. Certainly Indonesians and people from Malaysia participate in the Haaj (pilgrimage) & smaller pilgrimages to Mecca every year. I’m not aware of any specifically spring pilgrimages to shrines in Northern, Central or Southern America, either.

    But let me be clear: my point was not that a calendar/ seasonal reference to a specifically Japanese ‘cultural/ religious’ observation is inappropriate. My point was that in EL renku other ‘cultural/ religious’ observations are equally appropriate, especially in the ‘ha’ section. Paul McNeal offered:

    red flags
    and Che Guevara signs
    at the May Day parade

    Polona nixed it, straight away:

    “thank you for your early contributions, Paul.

    i agree, this renku needs some colour, and a holiday / observance would be a welcome addition. i’m not too keen on calendar markers as season indicators, though, as they do not apply for both hemispheres, and i don’t think we can use clothing or anything made of fabric at this point.”

    My point was (still is) that any objections to Paul’s verse on the grounds that it contains a cultural calendar/ seasonal reference not applicable to the Southern hemisphere are unacceptable after a verse such as Polona’s, has been included. (I was very surprised that Polona made such an objection.) Further, this verse of Paul’s gives sufficient context for readers in either hemisphere to understand location . . .Cuba, in the Northern hemisphere. . . where May indicates spring, so there is no confusion. If I wrote (for the ha section) a verse about Melbourne Cup Day, I would expect readers to know (or find out) that Melbourne is in the Southern hemisphere and work out that November is the last month of spring.

    Polona’s verse (in it’s original or in its accepted version) implies location (Japan) but most readers would need to flip through a translation of a Japanese saijiki to understand that ‘pilgrim shrine’ is a Japanese spring reference. There is nothing in the verse (in either version) that indicates Japan or even what kind of shrine.

    “Lorin,

    i hope John cleared the “pilgrim” dilemma for you. just to be clear, my original offer was:
    .
    six pairs of hiking boots
    outside a mountain shrine ” – Polona

    John has taken responsibility for the selection of your verse (which I did not question), Polona, but he has not cleared up the mistake of your nixing Paul’s verse on the grounds that it contained “calendar markers as season indicators, . . .as they do not apply for both hemispheres”, when your own ‘pilgrim shrine’ doesn’t apply to both hemispheres.
    I repeat, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” : if Paul’s verse is to be nixed on those grounds, hypothetically, so should yours.

    “but i have to address this: there is nothing in your neutrino verse that would directly allude to Japan in any way. even if someone knows Basho’s singing worms haiku the allusion is so remote it would take a forensic investigator to find connections, . . . ” – Polona

    Well, Basho didn’t write any ‘singing worms’ haiku that I’m aware of. He did write a haiku about a non-singing frog. 🙂 The ‘singing worms’ were from earlier, over-coded (& by Basho’s time, stale, in his view) Japanese literature. Just as Basho’s frog didn’t sing, his worm didn’t give voice either …just dug into a chestnut. (Basho was making a point!)

    I did give the Basho ‘ chestnut & worm’ haiku in a thread after that verse of mine was selected. But allusions are allusions, never direct. Anyone who had read the Basho ku in English would get that old deja-ku feeling when coming across a worm and a chestnut in a haiku. But no matter if anyone didn’t, because it’s ‘chestnut’ that places the verse in autumn. The verse alludes to Basho’s verse: Basho is Japanese.

    In your verse, ‘pilgrim shrine’ is (apparently) intended to allude to a Japanese custom. But there is nothing to place the verse in spring unless readers recognize that you’re intending a Japanese custom to be the seasonal reference. Yet you object to Paul’s verse on the grounds that it doesn’t apply to the Southern hemisphere. (It doesn’t apply anywhere that I know of apart from Japan!)

    “. . . it would take a forensic investigator to find connections, and that, if i’m not mistaken, is something the late John Carley strongly advocated against. ” – Polona


    In actual fact, John Carley appreciated allusions, such as that in my ‘neutrino’ verse. What I think you’re referring to is his (hilariously expressed) horror at the spread of ‘backlink’ (& his horror of that very term, as well) . . . the forensic searching for similarities between verses to the level of absurdity, such “we can’t have a hubcap here because we had a Coca-Cola can there and they’re both made of tin” or his famous “we can’t have a mansion here because we had a sparrow there, & they both have wings.” (and I would include your objection to Paul’s ‘flags’ on the grounds that Carmen has ‘linen’ in the last-but-one and linen is a cloth and flags are made of cloth, too in the same category. But that’s another issue, not the one I was addressing.)
    Unfortunately, John can’t be here to arbitrate…

    ” isn’t the whole thing we’re playing here but an homage to what the Japanese dreamed up centuries ago?: – Polona

    In my view, no, it’s not “but an homage to Japanese renku.” 🙂 Though we’d do well to try to learn all we can from Basho’s haikai-no-renga, as John Carley advised, and was himself dedicated to doing.

    “This renku is for fun and learning. ” John Stevenson

    I totally agree, both aspects are equally balanced to my mind. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t have bothered to write this or my earlier comment on this week’s thread. 🙂

    – Lorin

    1. I would only add to Lorin’s words that there must certainly be Marxists in Australia, Chile, and South Africa who venerate the Communist Holiday… May first the world around.

      I like to write quickly, as I would in a group writing live. The last verse stimulate new directions, tempered upon study of the penultimate stanza and those above them. For me, the kick I get from renku is that inspiration. It is well to ask at that point, What doe this renku need? I thought I had a link, and added several things such as color and politics. It is not my job to defend my proposed verse (s). It stands and the decision is not mine. I am not trying to “win” just explain.

      1. Hi Paul,
        In 1967, USA boxer Muhummed Ali, born Cassius Clay, declined army service in Vietnam. “Got nothing against no Viet Cong,” he said, “Ain’t no Vietnamese called me nigger.” (source: Mirrors, Eduardo Galeano. (He got a 5 year jail term, was barred from boxing and his world champion title was stripped away)

        In the same year, Che Guevara was captured and assassinated in Bolivia, and became a pop hero around the world. Young people who protested the Vietnam war started to become interested in Cuba. I was one of them. One doesn’t need to be a Marxist to start looking at what goes in in the world.

        Maybe there are groups in many countries around the world who celebrate May Day as a Communist holiday, I don’t know. But even so, unless those celebrations happen in the Northern hemisphere, they can’t be a spring reference.

        Your verse works as a spring renku verse, Paul, because you include sufficient detail for readers to place the celebration in Cuba, where it is the custom to read one of Che Guevara’s speeches on May Day. I have no problems of the inclusion of calendar dates for regional festivals and observances per se , in fact these have the potential to add desirable variety in renku. But I need to know where they’re happening to know what the season is.

        What I have problems with is when people declare or inherently claim, in international renku, eg. that May Day celebrations, whether Communist, Pagan or whatever
        are spring references. “Christmas happens in winter and dolls are displayed in spring, doncha know.” -The Imperial Association of Flat-Earthers. 🙂

        – Lorin

    2. sorry, guys, i’m busy running errands for two households so will respond more elaborately when i can find some more time. this doesn’t excuse me from not checking the wording of the translation(s) of Basho’s worm and chestnut verse Lorin posted in her thread so sorry for that.

      i was also wrong in assuming the comment i posted under one of the two Paul’s verses would be considered as referring to the subjects appearing in both of his offers and not just the May Day verse. my bad, and a lesson for me to be more specific in the future.

      my general observations about both Paul’s offers were:
      – they both contain colour which is welcome
      – they both contain references to holiday / observance which is welcome
      – they both contain calendar references (Easter / May Day) which can be problematic for more than one reason. i admit i stated the wrong reason as far as May Day goes (but not Easter). the argument that “calendar” is directly mentioned in the hokku (and which Lorin duly overlooked) still stands
      – one verse contains clothing / accessories (hat) and the other items made of fabric (flag). no problem with that if we didn’t have linen just three verses ago followed by a flower’s name which directly suggests a piece of clothing (and happens to be our leap-over verse from which we are supposed to move away in every sense) followed by footwear. so no hubcap / coca cola arguments but the mere proximity of related subjects that makes this eneligible

      by the way, May Day – the original Labour Day – is celebrated throughout Europe and is a public holiday in most of the European Union.
      May Day was also a big deal in the Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall (and all that followed) and parades were held so the scenario from Paul’s verse is not limited to Cuba but could also have taken place anywhere from Yugoslavia to the Soviet Union (and i know these are all still in the northern hemisphere). Che Guevara was a pop icon in that part of the world and memorabilia with his portait were no rarity.

      1. For that matter, the hokku has “year” so basically any mention of time…day, month, hour, minute, second, decade, century, etc…would link to year/hokku…also I wonder about numbers less than 365.
        🤔
        Betty

        1. bacically, yes. though i don’t see any need to take 365 into account 🙂

      2. “…the argument that “calendar” is directly mentioned in the hokku (and which Lorin duly overlooked) still stands” – Polona

        Yes, I agree: that argument does stand. (I didn’t note it in your comment that I responded to, though, so I don’t think it can be said that I “duly overlooked” it. It didn’t even occur to me at the time. )

        I had no issues with your comment as it applied to Paul’s ‘Easter parade’ because I agree that, in a ‘world’ renku, there is no distinct spring reference included.

        I’m unaware of European or other world areas apart from Cuba where Che signs or the like are still a feature of Communist/ Socialist/ Labour/ Workers May Day celebrations, though I stand to be corrected. I simply saw a dismissal of a verse with (what I can interpret as) a regional May Day verse which (to my mind) allows me to infer place and therefore, season. Because of the Che reference, I implied Cuba.
        (Though I see from Paul’s response that he had no such thought in mind, and he’d figured that May Day must designate spring the world over, which of course it doesn’t.)

        We have Labour Day (a version of May Day) as a public holiday in Australia and here it’s the first day of the last month of autumn. . . May, when the birches and Virginia Creepers start losing their leaves and the native trees don’t. 🙂 (Newspaper journalists are still on strike here)

        My point, overall, is that I think regional references should not be excluded from world renku, but in a seasonal verse spot, it should be clear where in the world the seasonal reference applies. (I have no objections to ‘Dutchman’s breeches’, a native of the USA, as a USA spring reference.) Since ‘shrines’ and ‘pilgrims’ of various kinds can be found in most countries and feature in the various world religions (& in Italian Catholicism there are literal ‘pilgrim shrines’: shrines which are paraded around particular routes on holy days, even here) I feel that something more is needed to allow readers to infer season, if the verse is to be in a seasonal spot.

        And I hold to that, even though my interpretation of Paul’s May Day verse was not what Paul intended.

        – Lorin

        1. Lorin says: “My point, overall, is that I think regional references should not be excluded from world renku, but in a seasonal verse spot, it should be clear where in the world the seasonal reference applies.”

          yes, i agree, and i think we have all learned a thing or two from this discussion (well, i have).

          since the “pilgrim” issue keeps popping up, let me just add that perhaps i should have insisted on my initial offer though that might have disqualified it (i actually mentioned in the email to John when confirming i’d select the next verse that i’d almost prefer Maureen had chosen somebody else’s verse) . i had “hiking boots” and “mountain shrine” so the reference to pilgrimage was indirect, and i hope you agree that hiking is a spring reference (well, it can take place almost year-round but it is one of the first outdoor activities after winter)

          1. Hi Polona,
            One thing: we’re brave! 🙂 As is John, most of all, and I appreciate very much his sharing around the ‘sabaki’ role and a forum to come together and consider what makes a renku and appropriate verses.

            What counts as an EL seasonal reference in a renku with international participation? Easy for the Japanese, with humongous saijiki giving the official ‘pass’ stamp to thousands of kigo. Some of the kigo work intuitively for me: oysters are best harvested & eaten from colder waters and well might make one sick if harvested in summer. The shared cycle of natural things isn’t too hard to intuitively work with… plants and flowers have their annual cycles, birds and animals in their coming & going, too. Some human activities are similar the world over (except tropical and semi-tropical regions) … in winter we wear more clothes or heavier clothes…. etc. etc.

            When it comes to seasonal observances, we’re all over the place! I agree with you about calendar dates usually being iffy as seasonal references , if place/ world region isn’t also somehow given in the verse. Except for verses like John’s appropriate ‘new calendar’, where the ‘season’ is ‘New Year’, a human season. We can work around other shared calendar dates, too, for instance Easter and Christmas, by focusing on human activities & things not specific to the natural world (eg. Easter eggs and plastic holly rather than BBQ’s or snow) but not in a ‘season’ verse. That’s when it gets hard.
            And especially hard due to some people objecting to ‘double kigo’.

            I truly don’t know whether hiking in the mountains might be a spring reference or not! Intuitively, I’d imagine summer first, when it’s cooler in the mountains than below.

            Your ‘pilgrim shrine’ verse in a spring spot is fine, imo, if we know the location (Japan). We can then refer to Japanese custom of spring pilgrimage. Perhaps ‘hiking boots’ + ‘pilgrim shrine’ would indicate Japan? I don’t know, but at least it might narrow down the shrine to a shrine in mountain country. But then there’s Tibet, and China . . .

            Sorry, I have no answers, only questions! One thing is sure: there is no agreed-upon, EL international equivalent to a saijiki . . . and there’s not likely to be . . . no more than it’s likely there will ever be an ‘Australian saijiki’. 🙂 As John Bird succinctly put it, earlier this century:
            “Perhaps we could get all Australians to standardise kigo on Canberra, our national capital; pigs might fly. ”

            http://users.mullum.com.au/jbird/dreaming/ozku-about-kigo.html

            Though he was thinking about haiku, it applies as well to renku.

            International EL renku is still very much in the pioneering stage. These questions we raise are valuable, I think, even if there are no answers right now. Meanwhile, I’d say we’re doing pretty well with this renku. 🙂

            – Lorin

            Lorin

      1. deadline extension
        on my tax returns
        I fly a kite

        🙂 Ho ho ho, Chris. 🙂
        Way back then, in the ’60s, my father-in-law (& about 5 others) got prison sentences for the old trick of ‘flying a kite’. That was before banks were automated, of course, and there was a time lapse between depositing & withdrawing cheques.

        I’d suggest you write a version of this one without the cut. The double entendre is excellent.

        – Lorin

        1. I’d never heard of ‘check kiting’ before this. Learning something new every day : )

  8. Hi everyone. I see that I have been responsible for an error. It was my suggestion to use “pilgrim” as the kigo in the previous verse. As has been pointed out, this is a problem for a world renku since there is no matching springtime tradition of pilgrimage in the Southern Hemisphere.

    This renku is for fun and learning. My error is an occasion for learning. The verse will stand as it is and let’s just try to avoid repeating my error as we go on.

  9. red lacquered nails
    lazily shoos off some
    curious tadpoles
    ~ Betty

    1. oops, should be:
      .
      red lacquered nails
      lazily shoo off some
      curious tadpoles

      1. Also, my offering above is based on the assumption that the turning of the page allows for a clean slate with respect to subject matter.. at least, that’s how it was interpreted in the previous renku. If not, oh well…

        1. thanks, Betty. not sure about the clean slate assumption but there is supposed to be a certain distance between related subjects and they should not appear in the same context.
          you’re offering an interesting verse, i like the colour but just think there are too many modifiers for my taste.
          please feel free to post more offers 🙂

          1. Okay…personally, I feel the renku is overly saturated with a/the/of type modifiers to the point that it seems formulaic. So chose the opposite direction for most of my verse offerings…epic fails apparently 😊.
            Thanks anyway for your honest assessment…kind regards, Betty

          2. well, within nine words you had three adjectives and an adverb, and that is a bit too much for a renku verse, don’t you think?

        2. “. . .personally, I feel the renku is overly saturated with a/the/of type modifiers to the point that it seems formulaic.” – Betty

          Funny, I never notice articles (which is what you mean, I think: the, a, an) unless they’re missing. Some languages don’t use them at all, but in English, leaving them out when they should be in sounds clunky and someone named the tendency (common in early EL haiku attempts)’Tontoism’.
          (I’m not implying you do that)

          – Lorin

  10. this time tomorrow
    the colors of a prism
    in each corner of the room

    1. just wondering what in this verse would be a reference to spring?
      (a longer day, i suppose, but too mcuh of a speculation)

  11. Dutchman’s breeches
    sprout along a cliff’s
    ragged edge
    .
    —Maureen Virchau

    .
    six pairs of boots
    by the pilgrim shrine
    .

    –Polona Oblak
    .
    a baker’s dozen
    of quail chicks lining up
    for their morning walk
    .
    – Karen Cesar

    1. thank you for a fun verse, Karen.
      two numerals in a row could be a bit of an overkill, don’t you think?

  12. Thank you so much, Maureen, for the selection and your thoughtful commentary, I’m delighted that you were convinced by my offer.
    .
    Will be happy to chose the next verse.

    1. You’re very welcome, Polona! So glad you will be choosing the next verse. Wishing you a wonderful experience.

    1. thank you for your early contributions, Paul.

      i agree, this renku needs some colour, and a holiday / observance would be a welcome addition. i’m not too keen on calendar markers as season indicators, though, as they do not apply for both hemispheres, and i don’t think we can use clothing or anything made of fabric at this point.

      1. Hi Polona, I’m confused.
        While I agree with you that it’s good to avoid calendar markers to indicate season in an international renku, doesn’t your own verse, in a designated ‘spring verse’ position, fly in the face of that consideration?

        six pairs of boots
        by the pilgrim shrine

        –Polona Oblak

        There’s nothing I can see that shows this as a spring verse, apart from the fact that Bill Higginson’s ‘500 Essential Season Words’, which is a translation of some Japanese kigo, lists ‘pilgrimage’ under:

        SPRING–OBSERVANCES

        “pilgrimage (henro, all spring). When many Japanese visit sacred places. The best known involves walking the circumference of the island of Shikoku, visiting 88 temples. ”

        This is specifically a Japanese ‘cultural observance’ in spring and the verse has been selected by Maureen. Given that, why on earth would a specifically Cuban cultural observance be beyond the pale?

        Is not your verse a calendar marker, a cultural activity that occurs on one island nation in the Northern Hemisphere? Cuba is another island in the Northern hemisphere.

        How does ‘pilgrimage’ or ‘pilgrim’ apply for both hemispheres? (scratching my head! We have no tradition of making pilgrimages to shrines at any particular time of the year in Australia) What is there about ‘pilgrimage/ pilgrim’ or ‘boots’ that, on a world level, suggests spring,? Christianity and Islam have their special pilgrimage times, too.

        If a specifically Japanese cultural observance is acceptable, why would a specifically Cuban cultural observance not be?
        http://www.che-lives.com/tag/may-day-speech/

        To my mind, the old saw sums up the situation: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Since your verse has been selected, it’s too late for anyone to argue the case against regional calendar markers.
        (Apart from that, I’m a bit surprised to find an allusion to Japan popping up again in your verse, only a few verses along from the Basho allusion in my verse)

        – Lorin

        1. Lorin,

          i hope John cleared the “pilgrim” dilemma for you. just to be clear, my original offer was:
          .
          six pairs of hiking boots
          outside a mountain shrine
          .
          .
          as for calendar references, there are a few reasons not to use them in this renku, not least of all the fact that the word calendar (with all it alludes to) appears in the hokku.
          .
          and sorry, but i have to address this: there is nothing in your neutrino verse that would directly allude to Japan in any way. even if someone knows Basho’s singing worms haiku the allusion is so remote it would take a forensic investigator to find connections, and that, if i’m not mistaken, is something the late John Carley strongly advocated against. besides, isn’t the whole thing we’re playing here but an homage to what the Japanese dreamed up centuries ago?
          .
          if there is to be any further discussion on this theme i would appreciate it be started in a new thread.

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