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The Renku Sessions: New Calendar 8

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.

Lorin Ford is our selector. Here is her report.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading and rereading all of the offered verses. My final choice is one which has continued to stand out for me as the ideal verse for the spot:

has the lord executed
his droit du seigneur?

          –Polona Oblak

Progressing from period fiction tales that children might’ve been retelling and embellishing to each other after lights-out (a common activity often overheard by parents) we clearly shift to the adult world and the upper class of the same general historical period in which enterprising highwaymen notoriously plied their trade. We may have traveled back in time or we may be in the midst of a novel or a costume drama or comedy.

Someone makes a delicate, nuanced, formal enquiry about a not-so-delicate subject, using the French term so as not to appear vulgar. Bed, bedroom and bedding (in both senses of the word) are implied. The character of this third party speaker might be comically pretentious or simply speaking in accord with the manners of the time. Either way, the language used in this verse (“executed” setting the tone for the subsequent use of the French term) demonstrates a welcome shift of register from all of the previous verses. (Ideally, a Kasen or longer renku has many voices in various registers as well as variety in linking method and subject matter.)

Also, as is desirable for a first ‘love’ verse, Polona’s verse places us on the threshold: the lord in question may or may not have exercised his rights with the girl. Is the questioner just a sticky-beak or is there some matter of concern regarding the lord? This verse leaves the field wide open for progression into the full range of ‘adult love’ in the verse to follow.

A brilliant contribution, Polona! And thank you John for the opportunity to select a verse.”

Thank you Lorin and 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 (March 1) 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 nine will be another love verse, in three lines this time. As I explained last week, love verses in a renku are about love between adult human beings. They can be romantic, erotic, or many other things. But they are not about love of pets, country, ice cream, etc. In addition, this verse should “progress” from verse eight. It should relate to a time subsequent to the inception of a relationship.

Verse nine must link to the eighth verse (and only the eighth verse) but it also must clearly shift away from it in terms of scene and subject matter.

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

This Post Has 116 Comments

    1. A slightly better version
      ********************
      time was
      when mere mention of her name
      was enough

  1. has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?
    .
    Polona Oblak
    .
    wondering
    how weird it tasted
    our first kiss

    .
    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  2. has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?
    .
    Polona Oblak
    .
    the kids’ accent
    even after years
    a dead giveaway
    .
    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  3. has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?
    .
    Polona Oblak
    .
    if only Jesus
    would answer her calls
    from the back of the car
    .
    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. The Caron ka back to Lorin’s coach. So that won’t do. Hmm! How about?
      .
      if only Jesus
      would answer her calls
      through the night

  4. has the lord executed

    his droit du seigneur?
    .
    Polona Oblak
    .
    beyond words
    this entangling
    of our tongues
    .
    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  5. has the lord executed
his droit du seigneur?
    .
    Polona Oblak
    .
    every touch
    every kiss
    electrifying
    .
    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  6. has the lord executed
his droit du seigneur?
    .
    Polona Oblak
    .
    my low growl
    at this torture
    of a touch to be
    .
    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  7. Well done all of you so far. Nice one Polona
    .

    has the lord executed
his droit du seigneur?
    .
    Polona Oblak
    .
    adding in
    a bit of BDSM
    to pep things up
    .
    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. edit to leave off … yet again…rhyme is annoying:
      .
      my wife’s blank stare
      when the nurse tells her
      who I am
      ~ Betty

    1. Or: ( eliminating one “a” would be better)

      after a party’s rebuff
      she drinks with vengeance
      all the leftover wine

  8. has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?
    .
    –Polona Oblak
    .
    .
    out for a breather
    she finds rose petals & rice
    scattered underfoot
    .
    .
    or
    .
    .
    rose petals & rice
    scattered along the walk
    as she wanders alone

  9. Congratulations, Polona. That was a surprising and powerful verse when you posted it. It’s absolutely perfect as the chosen verse.

    Reading Lorin’s wonderful commentary really helped me see how this renku is developing. I’m still a novice at this, so all of these contributions and the really excellent commentary are wonderful teaching tools. The quality of poets who participate in this and the last renku are just so impressive. Many thanks for allowing those of us who are at a fumbling stage (might just be me, lol) to join in.

    Lorin Ford, I hope one day you will lead a whole renku in here!

    John, let me thank you as well for all your excellent work on this. A renku is quite some undertaking for the sabaki. *polite bow*

    1. Hi Mary,
      John is doing something new here, in allowing the author of a chosen verse to select the next one. It’s an interesting & exciting challenge, giving many the chance to many to have a go at being ‘sabaki’ for a verse . . . the one responsible! (Yikes!) I’ll be very interested in following & also reading John’s ‘wrap-up’ for this renku, when it ends.

      Lorin
      ps thanks for your compliments.

      1. Hi Lorin, thanks for taking the time to respond to my comments. I do love what John is doing by allowing others to join in as sabaki for a week. All the comments you and the other poets have made in your selection teaches all of us a lot about this form and how it shifts and moves. All the best, Mary 🙂

    2. thank you kindly, Mary.
      the great thing about these public renku is that anyone can participate and everyone has a chance to have a verse selected. you never know when your candidate may be just what’s required. reading instructions helps, though.
      and although all this may seem like rocket science, it is in fact not all that complicated. a few basic rules to remember, the rest should be fun (i can say with a fair amount of certainty that the verse following my selection will be seasonal, most likely a minor season, possibly winter, and with no other special requirements other than link and shift).

      1. Thanks, Polona. I love reading the offerings and figuring out how they link and shift. I think I do need to do some serious reading on the history of renku so I can understand the ‘terms’ some of you use about the various sections and structure. Cheers ~ Mary

  10. has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?
    –Polona Oblak

    * * *

    a little too loud
    the goth girl’s laughter
    at her boyfriend’s joke

  11. has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?
    –Polona Oblak

    * * *

    unfair advantage
    my date watches the game
    over my shoulder

  12. after the all-nighter
    for starters his birthday gift
    goes up in flames
    .
    or:
    .
    after the all-nighter
    his birthday gift
    goes up in flames

  13. Ha! I think I’ve discovered a word that will block one’s posts. I tried to post 3 times, and got the “Not found, error 404

    The page you are looking for no longer exists. Trying this again with justthe first letter of the word in question ”
    message.

    Understandable. :-)I’ll try it again with just the first letter of the word as a test.

    has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?

    – Polona Oblak

    happily ever after
    with a little help
    from V. . . . .

    – Lorin

    1. (correction to prose text, which I stuffed up)

      Ha! I think I’ve discovered a word that will block one’s posts. I tried to post 3 times, and got the “Not found, error 404

      The page you are looking for no longer exists. ” message.

      Understandable. 🙂 I’ll try it again with just the first letter of the word as a test.

      has the lord executed
      his droit du seigneur?

      – Polona Oblak

      happily ever after
      with a little help
      from V. . . . .

      yep. That word was the cause. Understandably. It’s the brand name of a drug that’s been notoriously used in spam mail.

      – Lorin
      – Lorin

      1. Lorin, I also have had the same issue today so it’s not that word only…no clue really as you can see from my posts that there’s nothing to to cause a spam or error message.

        1. Ha, Betty … maybe it was that suspicious-looking phone number in one of your offers that caused the problem for you? After all, it does resemble a phone sex spam message. 🙂
          (Good to know the robot program is doing its job of keeping advertsiments out, though)

          – Lorin

          1. It started with my ‘honey do’ offer, Lorin. Finally switched browsers. I had recently uploaded a virus protection app for my phone so thought possibly that was the cause. I dunno!
            Cheers…😊

  14. has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?

    – Polona Oblak

    I’ve come to care
    for my millionaire
    sugar daddy

    🙂 re the old song
    -Lorin

  15. thanks, everyone, for your contributions thus far.
    sorry if anything in my previous comment was misleading (you can always ignore me), so here’s a hint…
    .
    buried = covered with earth
    “covered” is something we want to shift away from, so burials, graves, headstones, etc. are not really welcome at this stage
    as for emotions, it doesn’t have to be grief. there’s a whole range, from ennui, dissappointment, embarrassment, anger, denial… to rekindled love (and i’ve noticed a few verses dealing with some of these)

    1. Thanks again for your advice, Polona. I didn’t realize that subject matter created a linkage issue. Thank you for letting us know before I continued down the wrong path.

  16. Thank you so much for your advice, Polona.
    *
    an old woman
    kneels to wash
    her lover’s gravestone

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

    –Lorin Ford
    .
    has the lord executed
    his droit du seigneur?
    .
    –Polona Oblak

    .
    the professor’s affair
    with a graduate student
    was but speculation
    .
    – Karen Cesar

  18. Thank you all for your contributions so far.
    In addition to John’s guidelines, perhaps a few words about my preferences for the next verse.
    It may be a myth but the right of the first night allegedly empowered noblemen to have intercourse with commoners’ brides-to-be, so as i see it wedding is already implied in the verse. As we always want to move forward in renku, the action of the next verse should preferably take place after the wedding night, presuming it was the protagonists’ first wedding.
    As the selected verse is mostly about the act itself (or lack thereof) it would be good to have some emotion (implied rather than clearly spelled out) next. Just as a reminder, great love stories rarely end happily.
    We’re still non-season but i think we should move away from under the covers to a more open space, whether it be indoors or out. Gerunds and participles are still not particularly welcome.
    As for the rest, it’s up to you!

  19. Congratulations, Polona! A brilliant verse. What a fascinating shift in register! I can hear that voice. It lingers. The ‘love’ verses are my favorite. I loved reading them all. And an excellent choice, Lorin. I absolutely adore your insightful commentary.

  20. oh, wow!
    Thank you, Lorin, for your selection and commentary, and to you, John, for the opportunity.
    I’ll be happy to make the next selection.

  21. Great choice … I admire the subtle technique of the linking. A big thank you to both Lorin and Polona!

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