Yellow Moon

[Update June 09]

Ok, once again, great news everyone!

Simply Haiku editor John Carley will be leading our first Junicho renku! Many of you know John from his long association with haiku and renku and will agree that we are in good hands!

So, on with the guidelines…

I’ve added John’s schema for the Junicho in ABOUT section, beneath the kasen. As this is a much shorter form renku we’ll have the same 3 day period per link for submissions but the number of haiku submitted per poet per round may be shorter.

For now, I strongly urge us all (as I have) to duck over to John’s site and scrolling down to the Junicho part of the page and having a read.

Looking forward to more great work!

Ashley

Advertisements

327 Responses to Yellow Moon

  1. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, I’m proposing we might try one of the contemporary short forms of renku – the Junicho. Ideally we need from four to six poets – though everybody would be welcome to pose queries and make observations at all stages.

    What is a Junicho? There’s some description and discussion of it at the late W.J.Higgionson’s ‘Renku Home’ site – look for the link to Shorter Renku. There is likewise some appraisal of it at my own Renku Reckoner site if you go to Common Types and page down. The Schematic guides link takes you to tabular layouts of various renku schema – the Junicho is in there somewhere. A poem begun in summer is represented in column 5.

    what common cur
    could bring itself to eat
    rotten haikai! Basho

    blinking, blinking
    neither moon nor darkness rest
    Kikaku

    Best wishes, John

  2. ashleycapes says:

    John, this sounds great, looking forward to it. Would love if you could begin our Junicho with the hokku? If that’s right?

    Then we can see who comes first to make up this smaller group of 6? (is it 5 others with you to make up the 6?)

    And could we choose ‘summer’ for the Junicho too, to contrast the autumn kasen we’re already working on?

    Ashley

  3. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    I sent a message on the current junicho page. Guess it should have been here instead.

    Please count me in as a participant.

    I look forward to it.

    peace and love

  4. lorin says:

    Hello John, Ashley and Barbara. Right then, count me in, too.

    This will actually be my first Junicho and I’m looking forward to learning by doing. under John’s guidance. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity!

    cheers,
    Lorin

  5. Joseph Mueller says:

    Afternoon, John, Ashley, Barbara, Lorin et.al. I am so curious about the Junicho and will do my homework tonight (still in the classroom right now). Can’t wait!

    Joseph

  6. ashleycapes says:

    So, am I right that we have John, Ashley Barbara, Lorin, Willie and Joseph confirmed?

    That brings us to 6!

    (unless John is leading without participating?) Either way will be fine, fo course

  7. Joseph says:

    John, just check out your renku form page. Thanks for the schema and the elucidating descriptions.

    Joe

  8. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, sorry for the confusion. Doh! From now on we’ll run in the same manner as the Kasen in terms of what to post where.

    So yes, we have our team: John, Ashley Barbara, Lorin, Willie and Joseph.

    If I’ve understood correctly the Kasen is being composed in the manner called ‘degachi’ in Japanese. This word translates more or less as ‘competitive’ and describes a system whereby participating poets go head to head for each verse position. I propose we adopt an alternative manner for the Junicho. ‘Hizaokuri’ translates as ‘passed along the knees’ conjuring up the image of the kaishi (manuscript paper) being passed from one poet to the next. Hizaokuri means ‘by turns’.

    As in all things there are pros and cons about such choices. Hizaokuri is generally a bit quicker in practice than Degachi. It also puts participants on the spot to really tackle the demands of a given verse position as there is not the entirely natural wriggle room of expecting suitable offers to come from someone else. In my opinion though the single most important feature of working by turns is that particpants have to be prepared to consider ammendments and redrafts of their work by any and all other participants, with the sabaki being judge, juror and executioner. In my experience this can be quite a significant psychological barrier to overcome – my own first reaction to witnessing this was ‘how ******* dare she!’.

    Don’t worry – we’ll stop short of what was common practice in the Edo period when the renga master would frequently rework the entire sequence prior to publication. This is very rare in Japan now, and any such liberties could only be taken by a Sosho – a Master. This is not a title I merit.

    However to start the sequence off we will in fact go competitive, at least for the first verse, the hokku, and maybe for the second to – wakiku.

    So I invite all particpants to submit up to three candidate verses for the hokku of our new sequence. I belive the majority of us are in the northern hemisphere. We will therefore consider the season to be ‘summer’.

    Just a couple of remarks about the hokku: it is structurally and functionally indistinguishable from a haiku. In the Edo period very many hokku we also written as a figurative greeting or augury for the assembled company and/or the prospects for the poem. You are welcome to bear this in mind too, but it is not obligatory. The hokku may take ‘moon’ as its topic. Alternatively, and unusually, because we are writting a Junicho it may take ‘blossom’ or ‘flower’ as it topic. Please note the ‘may’ – neither moon nor flower are obligatory. In terms of season words – I do not advocate using kigo which belong wholly or principally to Japanese literature.

    Please try and get your candidates in asap. Please put absolutely any query or make any type of observation at any point. This goes for anyone who is or may be acting as an observer rather than active contributor. Renku is not complex, but it is multiplex. There is no such thing as a stupid question.

    Team, I’m dyslexic. Please don’t be put off by wierd ommissions, substitutions or misspellings.

    My candidates below.

    Best wishes, John

    listen to the insects
    take off and land —
    summer breeze

    ice cold cider —
    my garden shed
    has lost its focus

    off to bed
    long before it’s dark,
    a second childhood

  9. Ha ha! I admire your leadership, and then you back it up with some jolly good self-derogatory hokku. Sure you’re not from Minnesota?

    I’m fine with the format instructions. Seemed quite concise to me. We take turns at Green Tea and Bird Song, also, though we may suffer from some lack of expert guidance. Already I’ve learned a thing or two, and I haven’t submitted a verse yet.

    I feel quite fortunate to be in such fine company. Thank you, John sensei.

    One submission earlier considered for a hokku:

    sparse shade
    butterfly wings afford
    the only breeze

    (96 degrees fahrenheit today in St. Paul)

  10. lorin says:

    ok, John…jumping in:

    bellbirds –
    half a dozen stubbies
    cooling in the creek

    morning dip –
    the cormorant surfaces
    in a gull circle

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs gather
    at the pond

    Looks like we have a balance of players from each hemisphere!

    For John, Joseph and Willie: there is an MP3 audio recording of bellbirds here:

    http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/finder/display.cfm?id=141

    and here is the Corroboree Frog:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corroboree_frog

  11. lorin says:

    o, my ‘comment awaiting moderation’. Probably because of the links.

    Hi Willie… it’s a bit brisk here in Melbourne this morning. Sun’s out, but the top temp will only be 16C. Well we’re off & running!

    John, I love your ‘listen to the insects’… the epitome of a ‘do-nothing’ Summer afternoon or evening.

  12. a second submission, if you please;

    a summer’s dew
    snails weaving patterns
    along the path

    Hi, Lorin,

    Some good advice in the kasen discussion.
    I think I too will benefit from the hizaokuri format and other members critique and assistance.

    16 celsius is.. about 40 degrees fahrenheit? So you had frost!?

    My warmest regards,

    Willie

    • lorin says:

      no frost here, but it’s urban…frost anywhere further out, I imagine. Clinging, wintry mists in the mornings. Warmer though than it has been…some days a top of 11 or 12C! Yikes.

  13. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    Herewith my hokku offerings:

    scents of ginger
    disguise the smells
    of the old dog

    a blue butterfly
    on the rim of my cup
    at breakfast

    bloody riots
    freedom of speech
    on the streets

    ~~~

    peace and love
    from a cold mountaintop
    downunder

  14. Barbara,

    I immediately noticed your ‘riots’ submission.

    There is a discussion of a bloggers initiative to take place this weekend in support of woman activists in Iran.

    see the comments section for the June 23rd post at:

    altadenahiker.blogspot.com

    I’ll check that address for you and any others who might be interested.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Truly,

    Willie

  15. lorin says:

    …posting my 3 here again, without any links, just in case:

    bellbirds –
    half a dozen stubbies
    cooling in the creek

    morning dip –
    the cormorant surfaces
    in a gull circle

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs gather
    at the pond

  16. ah, silly me:

    http://altadenahiker.blogspot.com

    Quite a bit of information at the june 23rd post in comments
    regarding support for Iranian woman activists this weekend.

    The title: Heroines

    Pardon me again, please.

  17. John Carley says:

    Brilliant. Thanks so much for the rapid response. I’m off to work. I’ll collate the replies and see where we are up to in about 10 hours time. J

  18. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi everybody, below are the hokku offers to date in the order they’ve appeared.

    Firstly an apology – I shouldn’t have assumed a northern hemisphere preponderance in our make up. Many thanks to our upside down friends for standing my reality on its head!

    peace and love
    from a cold mountaintop
    downunder
    (b)

    the rabbit dreams
    of rabbit heaven
    (j)

    There’s some excellent work here. Several leap out at me as being emminently suitable. Ashley and Joseph – you are welcome to post a ‘pass’ if you wish. This is an option open to all people at all times when working by turns – sometimes pressure is not all it’s cracked up to be. Speaking of which: in the late medieval and early modern period contenders in the Japanese haikai competions had to complete their offers before a little spiral of incense burnt down. No pressure there then! Still, at least it kept the insects at bay.

    During the course of this poem I’m going to bore the pants off you with stuff about metrics, extent and proportion in respect of ‘long’ and ‘short’ verses. I find it striking that the candidate verses below show real congruence in their construction – a truly good augury.

    So, as Joseph and Ashley weigh up whether to stick or twist on this one, I invite everyone to consider which of the verses below (by someone other than themselves) they would chose if they were leading the poem. And how and why they would advocate it to the assembled company.

    Best wishes, John

    listen to the insects
    take off and land –
    summer breeze
    (j)

    ice cold cider –
    my garden shed
    has lost its focus
    (j)

    off to bed
    long before it’s dark,
    a second childhood
    (j)

    sparse shade
    butterfly wings afford
    the only breeze
    (w)

    bellbirds –
    half a dozen stubbies
    cooling in the creek
    (l)

    morning dip –
    the cormorant surfaces
    in a gull circle
    (l)

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    a summer’s dew
    snails weaving patterns
    along the path
    (w)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the smells
    of the old dog
    (b)

    a blue butterfly
    on the rim of my cup
    at breakfast
    (b)

    bloody riots
    freedom of speech
    on the streets
    (b)

  19. John Carley says:

    Oops – Lorin, the draft of the corroboree frog verse in my collation above shows an altered line break from your initial post. I’ve been playing with some verses and should have pointed this out at the very least. Sorry.

    In terms of metrics I’m assuming a pronunciation that has the length of the ‘o’ in ‘frogs’ more pronounced than the already quite long initial ‘o’ of ‘coroboree’.

    Noisy neighbours eh?! J

  20. ashleycapes says:

    Hi John, I’m back! (Just slipping in before the insense burns down 🙂 geeze, that’d be a tough time constraint!) I’d love to have a running commentary on what we do, that would be superb.

    Ok, here’s a couple summer ones from me

    in a jar
    yellow blush
    of frangipani

    seeing through the rain
    you and I
    with a beach umbrella

    And my favs from those above to lead:

    listen to the insects
    take off and land –
    summer breeze
    (j)

    Here I think summer is captured in sound/heat and the idea of flight, a happy thought

    a summer’s dew
    snails weaving patterns
    along the path
    (w)

    This ku is another perfect spell of summer, it has a gentle feel and the woven silver/dew has movement

    bloody riots
    freedom of speech
    on the streets
    (b)

    I like the way that this jolts you out of nature/image-expectations but is able to comment on the nature of humanity. It’d be a provocative place to start

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    And here I like the way a meeting is referenced and also think the double image of yellow moon and frog complement each other nicely

  21. lorin says:

    Hi John…I prefer your line break in ‘corroboree frogs’ to that in my draft. Thanks! Wrote them in a hurry and didn’t revise.

    Corroboree frogs are quite rare and endangered now… a bit like poets?

    In Australian English, the first 2 ‘o’ sounds in ‘corroboree’ are the same…short ‘o’, as in ‘frog’ and ‘pond’, or Bob., rather than long as in ‘co-dependant”. The 3rd ‘o’ a little bit longer, because of the single ‘r’, but not quite as long as in ‘soar, saw, bore’ etc. So of the 5 ‘o’, 4 are short.

    um…you said we could ask anything, so here goes: Is there a reason why you have Barbara’s ‘signature’ [beginning with her usual signature, ‘peace and love’, and separated from the body of her post by 3 tilde ~ ~ ~] rather than any of the three ku she submitted for the hokku at the beginning of your post?

    • lorin says:

      …perhaps I should say why I prefer John’s line break after ‘frogs’ to that in my draft? Well, finishing the line on ‘gather’ is like the spruiker’s trick…’and with your purchase [wait for it!…da da de dah! …a set of steak knives!’] The pause is too cutely ‘dramatic’, and L3 falls flat, to my ear.

  22. lorin says:

    I’m really looking forward to what you call ‘boring the pants off’ us, John. Know I’ll learn a lot [if slowly, as usual]

    “Just a couple of remarks about the hokku: it is structurally and functionally indistinguishable from a haiku. In the Edo period very many hokku we also written as a figurative greeting or augury for the assembled company and/or the prospects for the poem. You are welcome to bear this in mind too…” John

    Following these two hints, I’ve chosen three that seem to have an implied reference to the ‘assembled company’, as I like the idea. I’ve also considered what I’ve read about the hokku being, preferably, relatively low-key and quiet:

    listen to the insects
    take off and land –
    summer breeze
    (j)

    I like this beginning with ‘listen’. The invitation to hear insects and breeze [and by extension, thoughts, words, rhythms] An invitation to relax together in the afternoon or evening of a long day. The fact that it is an invitation!

    This would be my first choice.

    a summer’s dew
    snails weaving patterns
    along the path
    (w)

    I like the anticipation implied by analogy, that snails [we slow ones?] will be weaving patterns together. Random? No, as each snail is aware of the movement of the others. Not carving words in stone, but making patterns in ‘summer dew’… such a temporary thing…and the image of glistening snail trails in shining dew and the observer discerning patterns, is lovely.

    [my preference would be for just ‘summer dew’ over the perhaps more ‘poetic’ ‘a summer’s dew’, mainly because that seems to me to indicate the collective dew of a whole Summer]

    in a jar
    yellow blush
    of frangipani
    (a)

    The frangipani here is clearly the creamy-white sort which shades into yellow towards the throat. Since frangipani blooms multi-headed on a stem, I find this ku also nods a welcome to a group with much in common. I can’t hear/see the word ‘frangipani’ without smelling the distinctive fragrance, warm and seductive, redolent of Summer nights. The bract or bracts have been removed from the tree, though…the jar is a simple, casual container which doesn’t compete with the flowers.

    I’d add an article to L2, though, as much for the rhythmic mood as for the avoidance of ‘Japlish/ Tontoism’. English sounds more natural, usually, when the articles aren’t chopped out, but as well, in this one, an article before ‘yellow’ would rhythmically support the languorous appreciation of the soft petals and the perfume.

    Well, not sure if that’s the sort of commentary wanted… diving in…

    cheers,
    lorin

  23. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    I adore bellbirds. Really, I don’t think poets are a rare or endangered breed. I enjoyed all of these but here are my favourties:

    bellbirds –
    half a dozen stubbies
    cooling in the creek (l)

    I like the heat and birdsounds of the day implied herein

    morning dip –
    the cormorant surfaces
    in a gull circle (l)

    again, the splashing of waters and the start of a circle in the new junicho

    off to bed
    long before it’s dark,
    a second childhood (j)

    a chance to dream from which images can proceed
    this seems to be a good place to set things off

    a summer’s dew
    snails weaving patterns
    along the path

    I like the idea of we snails moving on through the designated schema of what follows, sets the pace

    Peace and Love

  24. Joseph says:

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! i turn around and you all have written these wonderful ku! That’s the trouble with a new job: no time to check Issa. Well, I almost never pass, so here are three that I’ve been thinking about (so much for getting to bed early tonight).

    six boys gambol
    in the singing river
    hidden girls giggle

    such little movement
    in this June’s heat
    my waist wears a towel

    the hammock too high
    the heavy day too hot
    to reach for the cooler

    John, thanks for the instructive and elucidating introduction. Are we only permitted three submissions for the hokku?

    I really like John’s lazy-day approach in this ku of his:
    listen to the insects
    take off and land –
    summer breeze
    (j) and i love the way the shed loses focus under the influence of cider!

    I also like Willie’s slow snails marking the new path. Slow and steady.

    Barbara’s “bloody riots” is a wonderful, gripping ku, but perhaps too startling for our junicho commencement. But your “scents of ginger” is really funny!

    Lorin, love the frogs, the pond, the yellow moon. A bit of a gathering for the night-creatures?

    Okay, now I must abed, rise early, and do it again. I audition for a play tomorrow night. Arsenic and Old Lace. As if I have the time!

    Great work everyone!

    • lorin says:

      Arsenic and Old Lace 🙂 … I recall the film. Every bloke who’s considering boarding with dear old ladies should see it! Who will you be playing, Joseph?

  25. Joseph says:

    Following Lorin’s lead, here are my three submissions unimpeded:

    six boys gambol
    in the singing river
    hidden girls giggle

    such little movement
    in this June’s heat
    my waist wears a towel

    the hammock too high
    the heavy day too hot
    to reach for the cooler

  26. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, here are all the candidates. Please read down.

    listen to the insects
    take off and land –
    summer breeze
    (j)

    ice cold cider –
    my garden shed
    has lost its focus
    (j)

    off to bed
    long before it’s dark,
    a second childhood
    (j)

    sparse shade
    butterfly wings afford
    the only breeze
    (w)

    bellbirds –
    half a dozen stubbies
    cooling in the creek
    (l)

    morning dip –
    the cormorant surfaces
    in a gull circle
    (l)

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    a summer’s dew
    snails weaving patterns
    along the path
    (w)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the smells
    of the old dog
    (b)

    a blue butterfly
    on the rim of my cup
    at breakfast
    (b)

    bloody riots
    freedom of speech
    on the streets
    (b)

    in a jar
    yellow blush
    of frangipani
    (a)

    seeing through the rain
    you and I
    with a beach umbrella
    (a)

    six boys gambol
    in the singing river
    hidden girls giggle
    (jo)

    such little movement
    in this June’s heat
    my waist wears a towel
    (jo)

    the hammock too high
    the heavy day too hot
    to reach for the cooler
    (jo)

    Thank you so much for the perceptive and constructive crits posted already. I won’t make any individual crits of my own because in respect of haiku/hokku they would be no more informed than those I’ve already read. You guys have a good creative and, crucially, honest ethos here. And the quality of work is high. There are at least half a dozen verses on offer which are eminently suited to being our opening stanza.

    Instead I’ll make a couple of comments which I hope will make more sense as we progress, being as how they are specific to renku. And that word ‘stanza’ is a clue.

    As I noted in an earlier post I was already struck by the degree of congruity in structure of the candidates as they appeared on screen. As Lorin’s comments on contracted language in Ashley’s frangipani verse highlight there is in fact, across the English-language haiku community, a widley divergent understanding of what constitutes an effective style of haiku prosody. Even the relatively directive editorial approaches of quality publications such as The Heron’s Nest admit to lots of variants.

    And if we look at translations: the shortest rendering of Basho’s blighted frog that I’ve had the misfortune to encounter was courtesy of Lucien Stryck at, from memory, seven syllables, whilst my all time hero and sometime mentor Nobuyuki Yuasa gave us a graceful 22 (again, from memory).

    Does this matter? Well, to me yes. But then I’m an analytical type. I often try to plait sand whilst burbling about comparative linguistics. But the simple answer is ‘No’, and ‘Yes’.

    No, it probably isn’t crucial when we’re writing haiku because the verse exists in its own right, and on its own merits. Yes, it matters terribly when we’re writing renku because the verse does not exist in its own right, or generate its resonance on its own merits.

    Folks – renku is not a succession of individual verses, it is a sequence of dependencies. The consonnances and disonnances of utterance, and the organisational sturctures that govern the phrasing of our individual verses, also govern the relaionships *between* verses.

    In the genesis of renku this was unexceptional as Japanese haikai prosody was, and overwhelmingly remains, a matter of fixed form (teikei). Trying to equate this in English, or indeed in any language other than Japanese, is a fascinating challenge.

    Best wishes, John

    • ashleycapes says:

      Hi John & Lorin, (and any one else 🙂 ) can I ask what you’d recomend for an adjustment if it were a stand alone haiku?

      For instance

      in a jar
      the yellow blush
      of frangipani

      I thought might add enough to fix up the rhythm?

      (sorry to hijack a bit of the group’s time)

      Ashley

  27. John Carley says:

    Lorin – sorry, I didn’t answer your specific query. I took Barbara’s ‘cold mountain top’ verse as a timely reminder that it is in fact winter where half of us are. My attempt to tag it with a short verse on rabbits was an attempt at irony – European culture being the rabbit in question. I believe there’s a plague of rabbits in some places! J

  28. John Carley says:

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the old dog
    (b)

    Hi team, I respectfully ask you to accept Lorin’s frogs as our hokku. I can’t better Ashleys reading of it.

    Barbara – it’s your call as to whether this draft of ‘scents of ginger’ stands as our hokku.

    A couple of remarks: in most forms of renku the relationship between hokku and wakiku is specially close – often compared to that between the upper and lower halves of a tanka (or, more accurately, of a bi-partite waka). For this reason, until recent years, the wakiku *always* took the same season as the hokku. The Junicho is unusual in that it admits to a wakiku that may be non-season. This, by implication, directly loosens the tie.

    Be that as it may it is not obligatory in a Junicho to have a loosely related wakiku (there are very few things in any form of renku that are *obligatory*). And given that our hokku proudly asserts that the kigo of ‘coroboree frog’ is early summer (and not ‘spring’ as in Japanese usage) I think it advisable to reinforce it with a further summer verse. Ginger in full scent gives this reinforcement.

    But most importantly the reason why I have sought to compliment the hokku with Barbara’s verse is for the overlap of undertones (upside down again!). ‘Scent’ is, as you may know, an absolutely key concept in Basho’s directly proposed poetics – he talks about ‘nioi’ til the cows come home – which is unusual because in fact there are very few directly recorded didactic bits from the mouth of he old fraud himself.

    And here I can’t get past ‘the old dog’ as being the figure of the great man. He was fond of presenting himself as ‘the crow’ or sometimes ‘the monkey’. Personally I think ‘the old dog’ does him more justice!

    There’s also something in there about moonlight being scent – I can’t get it to surface but…

    As for the fact that Barbara’s verse was not written in cognisance of the hokku – I’m sure Jung would have something to say about that!

    However, this really is Barbara’s call. And for all my ranting – please don’t let that pressure you Barbara. I tend to rant anyway. If you’d prefer us to take a different tack on selecting the wakiku please just say so. No explanations are necessary.

    Best wishes, John

  29. ashleycapes says:

    Hi! I’m certainly happy with those two as the opening!

  30. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    Thanks John for the explanations. Congrats Lorin.

    I do like lorin’s hokku and agree that my revamped summer verse to a 2 line wakiku, can work well. And, since I am happy to be part of this junicho, I say yes and thank you. I guess one wouldn’t want to infer that Basho was a smelly old man:)

    However, if others do not agree I am also happy to go with the flow.

    Peace and Love
    standing on my head
    to understand

  31. lorin says:

    John, I’m honoured that you consider ‘corroboree frogs’ a suitable hokku.

    More importantly: your demonstration of a resonant and witty, literal ‘scent link’, with Barbara’s ‘old dog’. I smiled when I imagined Basho lurking incognito among the Ginger lilies by that ‘old pond’. 🙂 … perhaps biding his time to ginger things up a bit, as well?

    Well, and then there are the sounds, too… more o’s, echoing… the soft sound of something plopping into water?

    “There’s also something in there about moonlight being scent – I can’t get it to surface but…” John

    Could it be that the moth-attracting flowers of Summer have such enticing scents on Summer nights [ginger lily, frangipani, hymenosperum, night-scented jessamine, datura, evening primrose…many more] and moths seem to like moonlight, too? [as well as the porch light] A synaesthesia of sorts?

    The ginger lilies in my yard are pale yellow in colour, when they bloom. There are others that are a brighter yellow, but the paler ones have the strongest scent.

    I’ve been reading some of your commentary in various issues of ‘Simply Haiku’ from 2004 on. This seemed a good place to start:

    http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv2n1/renku/beginnings.html

  32. Willie says:

    Where did my comment go? Son of a bitch.

    Yeah, okee dokee. Who’s up?

    • ashleycapes says:

      Hey Willie, I’ve checked around the site in case it got lost but can’t see it…did it have multiple links? Often wordpress spams posts with more than 1 link in it (though I checked the spam folder too)

  33. willie says:

    I gotta laugh. Thanks for tryin’, Ash’.

    So many distractions here at home and I tried to submit without tagging on my name. The system spit me out like so much spoiled spam.

    A real drag when you spend close to an hour composing a post. It doesn’t matter.

    I recall the basis of what I wrote is either I’ve never seen or heard of most of the plants and animals mentioned here.
    Do rabbits eat ginger?

    I looked up metrics and it referred to prosody. I looked up prosody and it made reference to metrics. Lotta help that was.

    I preffered John’s change to Lorin’s ‘leopard’-frogs ( a local species mysteriously deformed by some ominous chemical pollution) for its timing and emphasis.

    For the life of me, I couldn’t describe the same readings ya’ll do. I just know that unconsciously I prefer any hokku that makes analogous reference to our effort here.
    Perhaps I should write more esoterically.

    Yeah, I’m reminded of the old dog’s theory of ‘scent’ from Higginson’s Renku Home. But I wonder if we aren’t writing over a lot of people’s heads.

    Sure, at least a small majority of haiku website readers are woman over 40, (probably part of the reason my stuff is never exactly “popular”) but are we to wait for the Queen of England’s approval? Or Robert Wilson’s? ehh-same difference. I thought frangipani was some kinda taffy.

    Anyway, no need to defer to me. I’m learning a lot.
    I think I would have chosen

    morning dip-
    the cormorant surfaces
    in a gull circle

    even though I don’t recognize an obvious summer reference. It’s the short /long /short form that Mr. Wilson so wisely advocates, and perhaps the surprise and suspense the cormorant might feel surfacing in an unfamiliar scene.
    i’m waiting to find out what happens…

    With the eloquent explanations you have provided, I’m
    quite content with the proposed first two stanzas.

  34. willie says:

    Come to think of it, should a change in a western three line poem matter in an otherwise one line form?

  35. lorin says:

    hey, Willie

    wow! something for everyone in your post 🙂

    “I recall the basis of what I wrote is either I’ve never seen or heard of most of the plants and animals mentioned here.”

    yep…I know that feeling 🙂 I well recall thinking there was a fearsome, burrowing wild boar native to the US and Canada and that the locals believed these beasts could predict the weather. What a letdown it was to discover this wild beast was a little thing that looks like a cross between a rat and a chipmunk! Also, I first assumed that a black walnut, when mentioned in a haiku, was one that had gone mouldy.

    Google comes in handy when reading ku not written by one’s next door neighbour.

    But I know that both frangipani and ginger lilies grow abundantly all over your 50th State [and the yellow form has achieved weed status there as it has up North, here], and I’ll lay odds they’re not lacking in Florida and the likes, too.

    Where’d ya get yr statistics re age and gender of haiku website readers from? Seems to me there are a lot of *blokes* over 40 [like yourself?] taking an interest in haiku, submitting haiku to journals online or print and publishing their books of theories on ‘how to haiku’. In fact I can’t think of one online haiku website where the managing editor, at least, is not a bloke.

  36. lorin says:

    ps …how many people do you know who take a morning dip in the sea [or anywhere else] any other time but Summer? Sure, there are a few hardy souls, but…

  37. willie says:

    Hi Lorin,

    Where’d ya find them little smiley faces? Never mind, this is my son’s computer and I don’t or can’t load up stuff on it.

    He moved back home after a break-up with custody of the “kids”; two rat terriers.

    The hood rats ’round here don’t know much about flora and fauna, either, lest they read it written in chalk on the path ’round the lake. The origin of the bandit society, actually, an anonymous gesture to raise funds for the adjacent poetry park so these little free school lunchers might become more interested in readin’ and ritin’.

    evening rains
    my poems wash away
    to feed the earth

    There are online survey outfits that come up with the readership and net worth of some these sites when you google ’em. Shoot, look at the names on the submissions for the shiki kukai.

    I’m over forty; this new moustache does look kinda girlie, though. You’re what, 39? You like older men, little school girl? I’m just glad you broke the glass ceiling. Or, at least
    broke the male dominated roles.

    You’re right about a morning dip. That leads to the question
    if one should assume haikai should always be read as loaded with inference to human qualities. “ma”…?

    Johnny Winter said, and others before him,

    If I were a divin’ duck,
    and the river was whiskey…

  38. willie says:

    Duh. The important point being the hokku can make honorable reference to those assembled.
    A tradition which I like very much!

  39. John Carley says:

    Hi all, thanks for the considered comments. Willie – you are of course right about writing over people’s heads, or the potential thereof.

    But that’s only a problem if the sole connections are those made by the abstruse references. Our poem will only be any good if it works at all levels. In terms of their overt content our opening pair use a common technique – a first image followed by a pan back to show wider details of the scene. Our reader doesn’t have to know anything about Basho or renku theory to get it. But those who do will get it on both (semantic) levels. As well as the fact that it’s made up of words strung together which are pleasant to read irrespective of their level of meaning.

    The best analogies I’ve encountered for renku composition come from Torahiko Terada. He compared the semantic juxtapostion as being akin to Eisenstein’s film montage technique whilst the evolution of the expressive voice was like a Jazz riff. Anyone into montage might be interested in Lev Kuleshov & The Mozhukhin Experiment. There’s a short reference to it here http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv2n4/renku/renku_editors_notes.html

    Right. Next up is Willie (The Big Boy’s Book of Sabakidom advises “always get the trouble maker out of the way”!). Nah, only joking. But someone has to be the first to go by turns.

    Verse three is a long verse (chouku). But it is not like a haiku. A haiku is a verse designed to be stand-alone (tateku) whereas verse three is body verse (hiraku) that derives much of its resonnance from its position in series.

    So verse three is not a ‘cut’ verse. If you’d like more on this there’s a short essay over on the Renku Reckoner site. This is a problematic area folks.

    Less problematic is that verse three in our poem is non-season. We move away from the summery idyll of our opening and strike out in a new direction.

    Were this a longer sequence we might also wish to consider the implications of the fact that the third verse (daisan) has certain structural conventions when written in Japanese, conventions which affect the action of the verb – and its ‘tense’.

    Having said which the Junicho often disregards the conventions of daisan (verse three) altogether.

    So, on with the show. Willie – over to you. John

  40. John Carley says:

    btw – Willie, your snails were just beaten to the post by the frogs! J

  41. willie says:

    Well, I certainly hope so! An image of the tortoise and the hare…
    In retrospect, upon viewing the submissions, and I even did so when I wrote my little blurb, I recognized they are all handsome pieces on their own. The more times I went back, the better I understood your points. My primary concern is accessability to a mass audience and not just writing to sound pretty in a western style. Off putting to some maybe not familiar to the form.
    Where do I get a copy of the Sabakidom book? Is there a secret handshake? …Never mind, I need to apprentice for at least a dozen years still.
    When I used to play with jazz and blues bands, I would perform more satisfactorily with extra “voices.” Not a cacophany, mind you, but able to hear everyone’s contribution and thereby become inspired.
    No surprise I was next in line. I would have seen to it I was. No wonder you’re Sabaki! Clever lad…
    I’ve just finished a resume-first time in 20 years, and young son requires some landscape assistance, so I won’t light any incense just yet. Our crew should arrive in , ooh, 4 to 6 hours, so I’ll see you then, sensei! Thanks!

  42. lorin says:

    “The important point being the hokku can make honorable reference to those assembled.
    A tradition which I like very much!” Willie

    Me, too…it seem a gracious thing and an acknowledgment of communal endeavour, this participation in a collaborative poetry game.

    “Folks – renku is not a succession of individual verses, it is a sequence of dependencies. ” John

    “I used to play with jazz and blues bands…”

    Well, then I think you’re in a position to understand John’s point more quickly than most . 🙂

    Looking forward to what you come up with for st 3, and best of luck with the rug rats.

    ps. that smiley is the only one I know …often wish I knew how to do the tongue-poking-out one 🙂 … but here’s how for this one: type in a semi-colon, just like that previous one, then a hyphen, then a crescent moon shaped bracket, the one with the end points pointing left.

  43. lorin says:

    whoops! ‘type in a colon…’ not a semi-colon
    …wonder what would happen? 😉

  44. lorin says:

    2 smileys! 😉 🙂

  45. willie says:

    Well, the incense is barely gone. (a 15 inch stick almost thick as a pencil!)

    I accomplished quite a bit of reading in that time and only two possible submissions. The first came to mind hours ago, actually, some subliminal interjection, and I don’t know what the hell it means. Rejected.

    After reading from the Reckoner I had to go to wikipedia to check for more information. I’m glad I did. I found a really interesting piece of information there.

    I was tempted to tear the cellophane off my new Unabridged Webster’s Dictionary while at your site, John, but time was of the essence. Besides, I already have your link at some blogs I struggle with. Now I’m even more glad I do have them, for I will return again.

    I’ll not explain this without first any interested queries.
    A deadline’s a deadline.

    Taiko drums
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast

    Elapsed time: 51 minutes 39 seconds

  46. ashleycapes says:

    I like this, Willie, has a great shift and opens us up to all kinds of responses. Looking forward to other responses.

  47. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day Willie

    I wondered if you might consider to say

    Taiko drumming
    impatient jazz messengers
    play it fast

    Taiko drums
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast/willie

    I also ask if you can explain to me any link to previous verses although I understand that the daisan should take us off somewhere else and set the start of what will follow.

    Just an idea and a question from an old hag don’t you know:)

    Peace and Love

    Peace and Love

  48. John Carley says:

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the old dog
    (b)

    Taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast
    (w)

    Hmmmn, that’s *very* interesting. My first instinct, like Ashleys, is positive. And thanks for not outlining your thinking Willie.

    Ok team, so what’s the link? *Is* there a link? If we were to accept this what consequences would it have for the following verse?

    Barbara, thanks for considering alternative phrasings.

    Best wishes, John

  49. lorin says:

    Well, if I come to it as a narrative of sorts [not at all certain this is legitimate thing to do, though] if I look at stanzas 1 & 2 as a combined whole, we have a ‘place’ [pond and surrounds including ginger lilies] and ‘characters’ [corroboree frogs and a lurking, disguised old dog] It may be said that a corroboree is about to take place [or that the frogs are getting ready for their mating calls/competitions] but nothing has happened yet.

    There is the wit of a literal ‘scent’ link between sts 1 & 2.

    The ‘shift’ in Willie’s ku is clear , the link harder to define. Perhaps Willie’s ku/stanza is an example of a scent link , too? Its essence is sound, that of the taiko drums, so a link may be found between the two senses of scenting and hearing…and also there’s no doubt that this particularly energetic kind of drumming gingers up any atmosphere, so there’s a vernacular link as well [there’s a taiko group from Tassie that performs here in Melbourne sometimes…electrifying!]

    Through sound, the action begins. The distinctly Australian corroboree [no drumming, but bull-roarer beforehand and didgeridoo accompanying the performance of the dance or ritual] is extended to include other performance, distinctly Japanese drums and jazz [originating with Afro-Americans way down in Willie’s part of the world}

    I associate taiko drumming with Summer, since the first time I saw a performance it was Summer and the sky answered the drums with a real series of lightning strikes and thunder…. very dramatic! The drums, played fast, are like rolling thunder: many dogs are fearful of thunder, so I also see that old dog flushed out of his disguise and lurking place [my warped sense of humour?]

    I can’t help [mentally] adding ‘& loose’ to L3 as an inferred under-layer… as well. Well, this is the ‘breakaway’ position.

    What consequences for the next verse? I don’t know and would be very interested in John’s and others’ views. It seems to me that there are many possibilities of linking to this ku via associations of different kinds…. and I haven’t even [overtly, here on the ‘page’] considered the ‘jazz’ and ‘messengers’ of L2! 😉 I even arrived at Baptist preachers and Lyn Powell’s poem, ‘Kind of Blue’!

    [google it if you’re interested]

  50. Rhonda says:

    Hi John – I left a message in the wrong place I think – I might have a go If I can get my mind around it all – if there is a place for me

  51. Rhonda says:

    Hi John – sorry I’ve just seen that you are all full –

  52. willie says:

    Hello Rhonda,

    I’m pleased you have one interpretion of my verse.
    I wonder if ‘impatient’ might be redundant, taking into account we already have “playing it fast” as one implication?

  53. willie says:

    Let me address that to Barb, please. My mind has been clouded by some mysterious force.

  54. willie says:

    Well, I’ll be. You mean a corroboree is a gathering of some kind!? Like a jamboree? Why didn’t you say so?

  55. ashleycapes says:

    I saw a link from the ‘gathering’ of the frogs to the gathering of those wathcing the drummers (as I assumed they had an audience) – maybe they don’t, Willie? Could be rehearsal?

    I think, as Lorin pointed out, it’s rich with room to follow – L2 alone has the potential to propell the renku into a wide variety of places.

    John, may I ask, could Willie have submitted two potential links for the daisan, and then we discuss them as a group, or is one at a time better?

  56. lorin says:

    Willie… not quite like a jamboree [that’s a boy scouts thing, isn’t it?] Anyway, there’s a short explanation of ‘corroboree’ on the link to the wikipedia page I provided for you Northerners 😉

  57. lorin says:

    Hi Rhonda…they’ll be other renku you can join in via submitting ku, but John has said that he welcomes anyone who wants to comment and participate that way. Interested? I know I’d welcome your comments and insights.

    Besides, I’m sure Barbara would welcome your participation in that way, too…another woman ‘over 40’ 😉 who’s not dead yet. The hemispherical balance is equal but the gender balance hasn’t quite worked out that way… 4 : 2!

  58. John Carley says:

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the old dog
    (b)

    Taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast
    (w)

    Hi Rhonda, thanks for expressing an interest. We are full for this composition but I hope you’ll find it interesting to follow nonetheless.

    Yes Ashley, the typical practice of working by turns is to ask the person on the spot to submit three candidate verses simultaneously which are then discussed by the company. And I will respectfully ask people, where possible, to do so from now on.

    But when there’s a candidate this good there’s not much benefit to be gained in looking elsewhere. It’s going to make #4 quite hard to write though.

    Earlier Willie, in respect of the hokku/wakiku relationship, expressed reluctance to consider it sufficient that the verses had a pleasant read through – an inherent euphony. I agree. But renku does make use of all the features of language as it strings the pearls together. We disregard phonics at our peril. The fact that there is a direct trend to do so in English-language haiku is a different argument.

    Fact is that here the perfect relational phrasing between #3 and #2 (and, as we shall see, between #3 and #1) allows the mind to accept what it might otherwise reject.

    This is a very loose semantic link. But that’s not a problem per se. In fact renku theory readily distinguishes between a tight link (shinku) and a loose link (soku). To my reading there’s a suggestion that the old dog morphs into the slightly disreputable figure of Art Blakey who is gingering up his coarse nature (Jazz) with something more aromatic (Taiko). At the deeper level Willie takes the allusion to Basho’s poetics contained in the play between #1 and #2 introducing Terada’s analogy of renku as Jazz. Further, in showing non-Japanese integrating Japanese art with their work it functions as a direct reference to ourselves.

    Question is – how much of this stuff does the reader get? At a conscious level? And what does that mean? If the girl humming Joni Mitchel can’t tell you what key it’s in and describe the harmonies being used does that mean she can’t appreciate the song?

    At a technical and structural level this verse three qualifies as a perfect ‘daisan’ – it open outwards and leaves an impression that the action of the verse is continuing (the Junicho does not in fact oblige verse #3 to meet the criteria for ‘daisan’ that longer sequences such as the Kasen and its derivatives demand).

    In terms of content this verse #3 is also ideal introducing an entirely new topic (music) and giving us directly featured human presence (absent from our hokku and wakiku).

    So, all told, this is pretty damn impressive Willie. In terms of the consequences for #4 – I’ve a feeling that #4 will need to be quiet and understated by contrast whilst having a more direct link than that between #3 and #2.

    I note Lorin ascribing, unofficially, ‘Taiko’ to summer – but I don’t think that’s a problem for us here and we can accept #3 as any season or non. Nonetheless I think it might be wise to have a second non-season verse at #4.

    In terms of topic we can go more or less anywhere, other than repeat ‘moon’ – oh yeah, and we shouldn’t have ‘flower’ in a non-season position. And we don’t want anymore frogs or dogs. But more or less anything else goes.

    Ashley – you’re up for #4. Though of course you can post a ‘pass’ if you find it’s becoming a block, in which case Joseph and or I can step in.

    Please do supply a couple of alternative if poss. And please do consider that our paradigm literature – renku as it has arisen in the Japanese language – is conscious of form.

    Best wishes, John

    Ps – Willie, I’ve put a comma at end of line one for in our working text. Let’s see what that looks like when #4 is in place.

  59. lorin says:

    “If the girl humming Joni Mitchell can’t tell you what key it’s in and describe the harmonies being used does that mean she can’t appreciate the song?”

    No, it doesn’t. Nice way of putting it, John. [I’m one of those non-musical appreciators of Joni Mitchell, though I gave birth to a musical son…as the Yanks say, ‘go figure’]

    ps …the capital T of taiko stands out, since we haven’t so far used capitals for other proper nouns…what do you think about losing it?

  60. ashleycapes says:

    Ok, I’m game! Give me a few hours – might even be tomorrow afternoon – sorry about the delay…will try do something tonight however

  61. ashleycapes says:

    ok, here’s a few – I don’t feel like they’re as successful as possible, feeling scattered at the moment…going for sound but trying to slow it down too

    Taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast
    (w)

    as if cast from his robes
    shadows fill the trench

    from your handbag
    the click-clack of shells

    over the fence
    thump, and squish go the plums

    hope one of ’em fits – if they’re no good please move on to John or Joseph

    Ash

  62. willie says:

    Slow down there, Hoss!

    Not saying anythings wrong, but if you’re uncertain, remember the crew won’t arrive for another 12 hours typically.
    It’s 6:30 am here and I’m just writing an answer to my selection; gimme a minute, Ash.

    Yeah, Lorin, Taiko needn’t be capitalized.

  63. willie says:

    Darn it. I wasn’t able to read all the way through the wikipedia link on corroboree frogs-(I enjoyed more your notes on pronunciation, Lorin) I thought it might be a name or indigenious reference such as Minnetonka is here.

    Now I get it-duh! Sort of jibes with John’s comment of a girl not knowing the key of a Joni Mitchell song, yet enjoying it.

    You’re close to describing what i ‘felt’ John when I chose to submit this verse. Actually, I have two backups that evolved shortly thereafter, but after the ruckus I caused in previous commentary, I felt I should stand up for something. Besides, I had a deadline to meet! Click on my name for those alternates.

    I returned home about two hours prior to my self imposed limit, and seeking some inspiration and a wish to hail the spirits of my renku forefathers, lit a stick of incense and put on a classic standard of hard bop jazz, Art Blakely and the Jazz Messengers-A Night in Tunisia.

    Immediately, Art Blakely’s drum solo preceding the title song began. Not fast, mind you, but puncuated by moments of silence. As Blakely’s pace quickened, I said to myself, “Gee, that sounds like taiko drumming…who else do I have that plays like that? Ginger Baker…” the drummer of two other classic bands in their seperate rock genre, Blind Faith and Cream. In approximately 40 seconds I had this verse-taiko drums jazz messengers play it fast.
    It felt right, but I wondered if it would be a worthy link, did it link at all, and but how? I knew I owed it to my co authors to make the stanza the best it could be.
    I thought the Ginger reference to be a little trite on its own, so I knew some analysis was needed. And time was of the essence!

    After reading the Link and Shift chapters at Renku Reckoner and a trip to Wikipedia for taiko, I arrived at these associations. (I have quick notes, and will return to the aforementioned links, and others, for more study since obviously, my knowledge is minimal.)

    I feel an adequate shift was made away from uchikosi, the first verse.

    A simple word link, kotobazuke, was made though having trusted my gut, I believe other associations augment this.
    Yoriai, or drawing on the classics, may have been accomplished, though musically. Correspondingly, from the liner notes of the original Blue Note release:
    ‘The Jazz Messengers have gathered inspiration and thoughts from distant corners of the world…’

    A content link, kokorozuke, may have have been achieved, though cognizantly, only from further study. I refer to niori: scent. To explain, as follows:
    On taiko, Wikipedia revealed to me these important points-taiko drums may be a redundant phrase since taiko is drum, but the terminology is closest
    to our western familiarity. Also, we associate taiko with kumi-daiko, multi drum, multi player technique. I also enjoy the understanding that tsukushime-daiko
    is a drum that can be tuned.
    The information I appreciated most, though, was that advanced taiko musicians incorporate ma, the time, space and silence between the notes.
    What a lovely thought!

    I converted the last line to ‘ playing it fast’, adjusting the verb, though I’m still unclear on this technique, and in reference to the brevity of the Junicho form.

    As I posted the submission, the recording ended and I noticed the timer on the CD player read 51 minutes, 39 seconds.

    I feel I was pretty lucky to have chosen this poem, though I feel very proud that you have expressed such confidence in my choice.

    I am deeply honored.

  64. johnedmundcarley says:

    Yellow Moon

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the old dog
    (b)

    taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast
    (w)

    from your handbag
    the click-clack of shells
    (a)

    Hi team, I find Ashley’s other two candidates to be a little over-long. And ‘plums’ gives us early autumn (or late summer).

    But these alleged deficencies, real or imagined on my part, are irrelevant as the shell verse is ideal in every respect. I’m struck by the effectively simple and direct linkage (shinku) and how well it contrasts the energy of #3 without risking a return to the tenor of the hokku and wakiku pair. This is thanks to the intimacy of the newly evoked human relationships (again a direct contrast to the alcohol and cigarette haze of the crowded #3).

    It therefore is an ideal call for love verse (koi no yobidashi). Please have quick look at http://tiny.cc/ig5R3 By the way, if ever someone is asking to treat you Traces of Dream is the single best thing on Basho’s poetics ever written in English. Yeah, that good!

    We need to go to a season now – I think ‘spring’ should suit love very well, so let’s go there (I’m minded to hold blossom or flower back for ‘winter’ as a kind of foil to our hokku’s ‘summer’ + ‘moon’.)

    Love verses should only really deal with relationships which might find sexual expression. Therefore they feature adults. Both Edo period and contemporary renku (Shomon haikai-no-renga) do have love verses which centre on homosexual attraction, or are capable of such a reading. By contrast Japanese friends have told me how scandalised they were to read occidental sequences that had love verses talking about children or animals, before realising that there was a very unfortunate misunderstanding at play!

    Joseph, you’re up. You can get tactile if you like, but love verses stop short of pornographic levels of detail, or really coarse suggestiveness. Please try and come up with three alternative takes on love in springtime. Remember – if this just generates a block please just say and we will find alternative ways forward.

    Guys, we’re starting to get a good dialogue going on some of the forces of cohesion at play in a quality sequence. As the poem moves on we will increasingly need to examine some of the forces of progression. Anyone with a spare half hour might wish to run some search strings on ‘kannonbiraki’ and ‘sarikirai’.

    Best wishes, John

  65. johnedmundcarley says:

    ps – fans of synchronicity and all things Jungian might like to have a look at kai-awase.

    Some haikai theorists trace the origins of the toriawase technique (apposition) which is central to the emergence of haiku back to a medieval version of the shell game in which halves of verses were painted inside pairs of shell. The artument is that inaccurate but plausible recombinations thrown up by this game fed into mushin renga (non serious linked verse) and eventially into haikai-no-renga and, through this, to the typical bipartite haiku of the last century.

    Therefore of course we can read #4 as continuing our coded exploration of poetic technique.

    Scary! J

  66. lorin says:

    wow, John and Willie…my learning curve suddenly taking a huge hike in several areas! Wonderful! 🙂

    Looks like I’ll be going and buying myself a couple of cd’s, to begin with 🙂

    Ashley, though I couldn’t possibly have gone into the depth that John has, I felt that your ‘click-clack of shells’ in a woman’s handbag was just right to follow Willie’s. Of course, this could be a little influenced by my own life-long habit of picking up shells whenever I can, no matter what the ‘main event’ might be. 😉

  67. Rhonda says:

    No worries John and Lorin – I’ll try and pick up a few hints from keeping an eye on theis page – interesting so far

  68. willie says:

    Sorry, I had to jump away there.

    Ashley, of your three submissions, I found your ‘handbag/sea shells’ (pardon abbrev.) to be the most personable.
    It made quite a shift from the noise of the previous verse to something almost imperceptible that might only be noticed by two people close together. I pictured two people on a beach, or even somewhere more mysterious;
    a stranger attracted to another by that indefineable clicking, curious about the eccentricity of it. Quiet, yet individualistic, displaying some odd inner strength, or knowing.
    We odd ducks attract one another; you think?

  69. Barbara A Taylor says:

    Taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast (w)

    from your handbag
    the click-clack of shells (a)

    G’day Ashley

    I like this one, although I wondered about having sounds again which are already repeated twice in the previous verse. It brings in a human element which is all to the good. I love collecting shells.

    drums, jazz and click clack in five lines:

    can you speak to this, please, John? I find myself always
    concerned with non repetition which I thought was an essential renku requirement.

    Thanks for your help.
    Peace and Love

  70. ashleycapes says:

    That’s a good question, Barbara – so which is generally considered more important for renku – link or shift? Probably shift?
    – My shift was for, as we’ve discussed, the human element, but the link is close (sound) – so does the human shift balance the tight link of sound?

    Thanks, John, Lorin & Willie for the support on the ‘shells’ – so relieved that it’s ok, I was worried about it. Feeling the pressure very keenly! (in a good way) Feels great to have you give it such a deep reading, so thanks! 🙂

    Actually I’m finding really hard to write stand alone haiku now – without the renku process, they lack something…

  71. lorin says:

    I’ll be interested in John’s answer to your question, too, Barbara.

    Here’s my [uneducated] response, working only with what I’ve gathered so far.

    First to Ashley’s ‘link or shift/shift more important?

    From what I’ve gathered so far, link and shift are of equal importance… a balance. Also, having read through John’s illustration of what ‘shift’ means in renku [it refers to breaking away completely from the ku *preceding* the one you’re linking to] I’d say Ashley’s ‘click-clack’ ku is totally in the clear, as it has no connection to Barbara’s ‘old dog/ginger scents’ ku.

    Though sound plays a part in three of the ku so far [yes, ‘corroboree’ indicates at *least* the sound of feet rhythmically hitting the earth, the earth is the ‘drum’] it’s an inherent thing…there, but not explicit. Willie’s drums and jazz [named, explicit] bring music/sound and motion into focus, but Ashley’s ‘click-clack’ shifts the ‘sound’ aspect into onomatopoeia, a particular sound. Now, in the 4th ku, sound is as close to ‘present in itself’ as we can get with words.

    So, to me, sound/music seems to be a linking motif playing out in this renga so far, not a subject or topic. There seems to me to be a 3 stage continuum through ‘corroboree’, ‘drums & jazz’ and ‘click-clack of shells’ which I can liken to eg: a fertile woman, pregnancy and actual birth of a child.

    I don’t feel that this is repetition, in any sense that I understand. If the sense involved were sight, not sound, would we say that a red-haired girl appearing in a verse following one in which a sunset appeared was an instance of repetition? Yet we need the sense of sight for both.

    Obvious repetitions to me would be those of the same kinds of things being recycled…eg an oyster in a ku following Ashley’s, or a puppy in a ku following Barbara’s ‘old dog’.

    Just ramblings…I should get off the computer! But am very interested in this renku process and can’t wait for the next thing to be revealed.

    lorin

  72. Joseph says:

    Whoa! Been away again, but have just read through the entire discussion page. I have lots of thoughts on music and poetry (I too, played in a blues band…harmonica!), apposition and cohesion. i am going to post this message right now so you all know I am here at my keyboard, listening to The Soul of Ben Webster (tenor sax) and preparing to compose lovely-lovey-spring verses.

  73. Joseph says:

    Well, Spring here in the northeast US is often epitomized by rain and rain-showers (same in Japan?). So, I might use rain a bit:

    the rainfall
    hasn’t slowed for days
    neither have we

    Now, one of the qualities I love about Basho, that old crow, was his ability to be desultory at the same time he was honoring something. In that vein:

    tulips, a robin
    my interest in her
    reawakened

    or, the image of love not fulfilled, despite the blossoming season:

    a cold heart
    still lurks behind
    the fresh cut roses

    or the abandoned wedding:

    “no foul, no loss”
    she extols the guests
    as the groom hurries off

    or the newly confirmed lovers:

    her hand on my cheek
    smells of daffodil
    erasing doubt

    or:

    embracing the vernal
    the two were wed hurriedly
    soon, a baby girl

    or, simple acknowledgement:

    she knows spring past winter
    sees the sun through thunder
    notices me, here

    I would love to discuss all you’ve written and I’ve read tonight, but I must rise early again. I hope, John, that some of these three-liners will elicit discussion as productive as the in the past.

    Joe

  74. willie says:

    I like the subtle, wry approach of tulips…

    it speaks to me of a life of experience, not without a little pain and loss, yet a pessimistic heart softened, still able to be filled with hope.
    And what a sublime link!

    could you make the first line merely tuli[ps?

  75. lorin says:

    I see you’re relying on the exclusive Southern US pronunciation of ‘tulips’, Willie… [no, we don’t all pronounce it ‘two-lips’, and they don’t pronounce it that way in Maine, either]…well, fair enough, I guess. I’ve had this discussion before, more than once 😉

    Personally, I think there’s more possibilities in Joe’s first,

    the rainfall
    hasn’t slowed for days
    neither have we

    though rain keeps falling
    we haven’t slowed
    for days

    ?

    Though Ashley’s ‘handbag’ [something which can be opened or closed] surely gives a lead into a ‘sexual love’ ku?

    Yet, ‘her lips’ [bugger the tulips] would echo the two halves of Ashley’s/ John’s shells?

    C’mon , Joseph. 😉

    • Joseph says:

      Still, Lorin, th epronunciation isn’t wrong, just one of several. As for “her lips”, eh. I like the visual signs of an identified spring “tulips, robin” and the off hand way the poet can acknowledge and dismiss these signs simultaneously. What is not dismissed is the “reawakening.”

  76. willie says:

    tulips? oh, you mean two-lips!
    Naw, just shorthand for writing this subtle, wry poem.

    Everytime my son uses the computer he erases all the links; I was just in a hurry.

    How do they pronounce tulips down South? I know Texan’s drawl…

    I liked rain, also, but I thought they met for a chance encounter and then hit the sack for a week!? Hope they had protection. Or a medical card.

    Of course, that may not be all that implausible…
    My wife attended a party at my house 35 years ago, and she still hasn’t left.

  77. willie says:

    Naw, the sound of shells clicking was the attention getter.
    Tulips links more in spirit, maybe, with the interest reawakened of a flowering beauty, beneath the eccentric handbag’s contents and its owners outward oddness,
    deliberately so, because none but he who was chosen
    could only appreciate. Hmmm, I am going on.

  78. willie says:

    Haa! I have anudder go…

    Didja ever try to form your words after being out in turty below 0 fahrenheit for a spell? Say tulips tree times fast, now, Lena!

    I got the Minnesota toot’ once, don’t ya know?. I heard my friggin’ tooth crack walkin’ home from da school in da cold!

    (spoken with accent reminiscent of Norway. Yah, yoo betcha!)

  79. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi team, I’m just off visiting relatives. Back later. On the question of repetion below I post an email sent about two years ago in response to like questions in similar circumstances.

    Best wishes, John

    (pasted)
    There is a lot of misunderstanding about repetition in renku. In English the term most frequently seen in reference to repetition is ‘backlink’. This term is unfortunate in two important regards. Firstly it gives the impression that, rather than having forward momentum, renku spends all its time looking over its collective shoulder. And secondly it proposes that the generative force of renku is governed by a sole aesthetic prinicple – that in order to create good poetry it is sufficient to avoid all and any repetition.

    Now, in the very short 12 verse sequences such as the Junicho that have become popular in the last 20odd years, it *is* possible to adopt the most literal and simplistic connotations associated with the word ‘backlink’ and apply them to the creation of the poem – and a decent poem just *may* emerge as a result. We can probably have 12 verses where no single word is repeated (including definite/indefinite articles?). We *may* manage to create 12 verses wherein no single idea is repeated. We may even mangage to create 12 verses wherein no cognates are repeated, though I can envisage a few arguments, such as whether ‘tin can’ is a cognate of ‘hub-cap’… both being round and metalic (this is a *true* instance). But when we look at a Kasen by Basho, and see that there are three moon verses, two ‘spring blossom’ verses, and up to 5 ‘autumn’ verses in a row – either *he* didn’t know what he was going on about (he was foreign after all). Or the proponents of *backlink* have some uncomfortable explaining to do!

    In contemporary renku there are three basic principles which counteract repetition: ‘uchikoshi (more properly ‘kannonbiraki’); ‘sarikirai’ (sometimes transliterated as ‘sari-girai’); and ‘rinne’ (sometimes referred to as ‘to-rinne’).

    The late and truly great Master Meiga Higashi identified ‘uchikoshi’ as being the sine-qua non of renku composition. He proposed that even if every other convention and consideration were disregarded any piece of poetry which respected ideas of ‘uchikoshi’ would have to be treated as ‘renku’. Personally I think the great man was being to liberal here. But he was a Master, and I’m a Scroat. Anyway – you get the idea of how fundamental ideas of ‘uchikoshi’ are.

    The core dynamic of renku resides in any set of three verses. Analysing the group at this three verse level, and working back from the most recently penned, we can name them:added verse (tsukeku]head verse (maeku) – so named because it is the lead-in verse for the added verselast-but-one (uchikoshi)So, in the sequence K, L, M, N: ‘k’ is uchikoshi to ‘m’, and ‘l’ is the head verse for ‘m’. Similarly ‘l’ is uchikoshi to ‘n’, and ‘m’ is the head verse for ‘n’.

    The crucial ‘link and shift’ dynamic means that each new verse must link to its head verse, but be entirely different from the last-but-one. When, for instance, ‘k’ and ‘m’ do not show sufficient difference from each other this failing is called ‘kannonbiraki’. The word means ‘double doors’ and refers to the tabernacle of the Buddhist altar. This tabernacle has doors which open outwards to either side, symetrically framing the centrepiece. In our example ‘k’ and ‘m’, due to their unfortunate similarity, form a symetrical frame around ‘l’ … a clear case of kannonbiraki. Rather confusingly the word ‘uchikoshi’ is sometimes used as an alternative to kannonbiraki – so it may refer either to the ‘leap-over’ position *or* to the undesirable similarity between added verse and last-but-one. The principal of uchikoshi (kannonbiraki) means that there should be *no* similarity between added verse and last-but-one, other than possibly belonging to the same seasonal segment, or to the ‘love’ section.

    Sarikirai – could be given as ‘clean cut space’ or ‘minimum separation’. The Japanese artistic and indeed wider cultural tradition recognises certain groups of topics: trade related matters; agricultural occupations; metaphysical discourse etc. Add to these obvious groups such as animals, plant life, types of precipitation,atmospheric conditions, and it is possible to locate most subjects within one of a dozen or so ‘standard’ groupings. Sarikirai dictates that a poem should not repeat topics drawn from any given group until a certain number of verses drawn from other groups have elapsed. So, ‘dog’ should not appear to closely to ‘cat’. Warehouse’ should not appear too closely to ‘articulated lorry’ etc.

    Various schools of renku differ in exactly which topics comprise which category, and in the precise number of ‘clear’ verses that are recommended as minimum separation. To a degree this depends on how closely they draw on categories and systems drawn from medieval ‘high’ renga. It is also influence by the related fact that already in Basho’s time the 36 verse Kasen was a contraction of longer forms, and that the last century has seen further contractions, such as the widely written Nijuin (20 verses) and of course the aforementioned 12 verse Junicho (there are many others, not least the 22 verse Triparshva). It is important to note that ‘sarikirai’ does not deal with the wider sense or tone of a verse. It deals with basic elements at word level.

    Rinne – is another term drawn from Buddhism. It might be given as ‘distant reincarnation’. In medieval renga theory ‘rinne’ originally designated any situation in which the norms of minimum seperation (sarigirai, above) were breached. It must be borne in mind that medieval renga manuals were very heavily codified and proscriptive. In contemporary terms the meaning of ‘rinne’ has changed to embrace the wider sense of poetic sensibility needed to avoid gross repetition in shorter sequences. Rinne is therefore more subjective. It is not limited by proximity. If an added verse strongly recalls another verse from anywhere in the poem the accusation of ‘distant reincarnation’ can be levelled. But ‘rinne’ does *not* work at single word/idea level. It is applied to the *complex* of the verse’s meaning and/or phrasing.

    Beyond these three broad prinicples there is one convention worth mentioning which does resemble the simplistic notion of ‘backlink’. Many renga masters will disbar all and any repetion of core semantic elements which have appeared in the hokku. In Japanese this most readily boils down to barring kanji which have appeared in the hokku. In English…. well, if we have ‘lighthouse’ in the hokku we might want to question ‘streetlight’ anywhere else as both contain the element ‘light’.

    Hmmn, this is all well and good. But it is essential to remember, when learning these conventions, that renku is art. It is not a forensic investigation, or a high school debating society. Renku is about periodicity and modulation. It deals not so much with absolute novelty as with recontextualisation. Renku cannot be written by adherence to ‘rules’. We are artists. We must understand our materials. And create.

  80. Joseph says:

    “distant reincarnation” I like that, John!

    I really like the exploratory nature of this junicho. But I am a bit awed, as well. Should I submit more?

  81. lorin says:

    Well, I thought the implied sound of rain falling might link with Ashley’s ‘click-clack of shells’, especially if it was falling on a tin roof.

    But I actually like ‘tulips’, as well, especially with Willie’s suggestion of de-cluttering L1:

    tulips
    my interest in her
    reawakened

    Yet, John’s suggestion:

    “We need to go to a season now – I think ’spring’ should suit love very well, so let’s go there (I’m minded to hold blossom or flower back for ‘winter’ as a kind of foil to our hokku’s ’summer’ + ‘moon’.)”

    So would using the bird instead of the flower work?

    a robin
    my interest in her
    reawakened

    a variation of form:

    a robin
    reawakens
    my interest in her

    another:

    a robin
    reawakening
    my interest in her

    or [ irreverent and irrelevant 🙂 ]

    out of the closet
    I declare my interest
    in Robin

    No offense intended by that last silly variation, Joseph…just, who said we have to stick with our ‘real’ persona when writing? 😉 We can have fun, too.

    • Joseph says:

      Too right, Lorin! Too right! I like your variations but continue to stand behind the admission of spring “tulips, robin” as weirdly non-related to the reawakening. Let them stand alone, as if the poet cannot see the any connection.

      And I love your last play on “Robin”! If it isn’t fun….?

      • lorin says:

        …the reason I suggested dropping ‘tulip’ was that ‘tulip’ is a flower and John has stated that he’d like to hold the flower or blossom ku over for a later placement. I quoted the passage, above.

        😉 …pleased you approve of the fun part!

  82. lorin says:

    …but of course there’s no Spring reference in that left field ‘Robin’ one.

  83. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    Thank you John for your explanations. It was precisely because of those definitions/interpretations that I puzzled over the musical/sounds/tone general “topic” of all those verses. Guess what, I still believe that they are all very similar.

    Since I agree with Lorin that John wished to stall the use of flower, I have to say I like the use of robin in this ku
    and might even change it to

    a flame robin
    my interest in her
    reawakened

    a robin
    my interest in her
    reawakened

    This does bring in another aspect: thinking of old flames
    Spring lovers, pairs, birds, nests…..
    The flame robin is a very pretty little bird.

    Peace and Love

    • Joseph says:

      Barbara, I love the term “flame-robin.” I’d never thought of that! I was also thinking of the nesting impulse very prevalent among both men and women of a certain age come springtime. Hence:
      a robin’s nest
      my interest in her
      reawakened

      What do you think?

  84. willie says:

    Oh, good eye, Lorin!

    Glad you’re paying attention. Forgive me but certain influences are causing me to lack concentration. I totally forgot the Flower reference suggestion. That’s how bad it is. I’d like to say it won’t happen again, but for now, I’ll just say I’ll be more careful with our fellow poet’s submissions.
    Sorry, Joseph.
    I’ve been warned against overt poetics in haiku, yet on the other hand tulips alone may sound abrupt to some. But then again we may not want to crowd all our allowances for flavor ( moon, flower) too close together.
    I always felt something special when I would be assigned, in turn, those verses, but that was seldom. Instead I tried to make my submission the best it could be for the benefit of the entire poem. Sometimes I succeded. i think the challenge made me a better writer, not by leaps and bounds, but small, hard earned increments. I realize I have a long way to go, but I think I will enjoy the journey.
    I still enjoy your “reawakening” , Joseph, as though the clacking shells were a hypnotist’s signal to find love again.
    It’s just what to be done about the many possible choices for L1.

    • Joseph says:

      Well, Willie, I am dedicating myself to that quandary this evening, drinking ginseng-tea (though I thirst for an ice-filled glass of bourbon). I have some other dieas that may work out well for the delight of the on-going poem. You’ll see my comments appearing for the next few hours?

  85. John Carley says:

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the old dog
    (b)

    taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast
    (w)

    from your handbag
    the click-clack of shells
    (a)

    tulips, a robin,
    my interest
    reawakened
    (j)

    Hi team, good discussions as always. Thank you Joseph for such a wealth of possible directions.

    I agree with you that it is the oddness of the juxtaposition in line one that evokes the awkening that the stanza goes on to state. The verse is novel and delightful. It is totally spring! So whilst I was minded to hold ‘flower’ over until later this verse is too good to pass up.

    In the draft above I’ve added a comma after ‘robin’ too. I think this encourages the reader to place the necessary emphasis on the pauses – ‘cos this is quite an odd first line having, to my reading at least, four beats. And this in turn raises questions of symmetry in respect of the verse to verse movement.

    My solution, is to drop ‘in her’. Of course the interest now becomes (at a primary level at least) more generalised – an interest in life itself. This is no longer a love verse, maybe. How it actually reads will depend on the added verse – my #6.

    One of the benefits of the Junicho is that it is clearly very flexible so we’ve no difficulty whatsoever in dropping this or that intention in the face of a really good verse. But in truth this degree of flexibility exists in large proportion in all Shomon (Basho school) haikai-no-renga and in contemporary renku. Renku is not complex, but it is multiplex. Unfortunately this can lead to a lot of emphasis on ‘rules’, either as a shorthand way to convey the product of the interlocking creative vectors, or because the person proposing the strictures simply doesn’t have sufficient understanding of the reasons behind the conventions which they misconstrue as obligations.

    Like I say – if we’re happy with this draft of #5 I’ll take #6, which will also be ‘spring’. I’ll see about tightening the sexual connotations which are now just below the surface of #5. This doesn’t have to be a problem in respect of the conent of #4. More on this below.

    Best wishes, John

    • Joseph says:

      John, I am good with this rendition:
      tulips, a robin,
      my interest
      reawakened
      (j) if all else are. I did think of one way to juxtapose the signifier and the signified, whiile continuing to launch with overt symbols of spring:
      tulips, a robin.
      her interest in me
      reawakens

      • ashleycapes says:

        I for one am happy with John’s edit 🙂 I liked the ‘daffodil’ ku as well, Joseph

  86. John Carley says:

    “I’ve been warned against overt poetics in haiku”

    Yeah, that’s true and real. But maybe not quite as true or as real as it’s currently taken to be. Clearly complex tropes ‘n’ all will squash a haiku flat. And lots of relational devices will limit the interpretations by specifying how connections are to be read. But that’s not the same thing as saying the stuff such as metre, assonance, onomatopeia etc do the same.

    I had the great good fortune to work with my all time hero Prof. Yuasa for a while – his English is better than mine, and his Japanese is better than his! He used to politely puzzle at where on earth English-language poets had got some of their notions of concerning haiku poetics from. Certainly not from the last 300 years of haiku writing!

    And then there’s the point that we aren’t writing haiku here folks! Seriously – phonics are important at an interverse level in renku.

    Best wishes, John

  87. willie says:

    “…What to be done about the many possible choices for L1?”

    Wellie, wellie, well… change line two!
    In subsequent readings I liked the cut action after L1’s tulips , a robin” and now I like the rhythm more.

    I get caught up in rules. I’ve noticed for the reason of self security mostly, I think.

    I’m fine with this rendition if you are Joseph.

  88. John Carley says:

    On link and shift – kudos to Lorin for really perceptive comments on motifs and evolution above.

    Renku is not the search for novelty at any cost. Our overiding concern in respect of repetition has to be directed not at word level but at stanza level, and ultimately in the context of stanza to stanza relationships.

    Best wishes, John

  89. Joseph says:

    tulips, a robin.
    her interest in me
    reawakens

    (see comments above!) Joseph

  90. lorin says:

    Hi again, John and all. I’m obviously having another dumb moment, but you did say to ask questions, John.

    As a verse in itself, I like Joseph’s ku [and do approve of the very interesting touch of deleting ‘her’] and can see it’s definitely Spring. Also, can see that it shifts from the ‘small and smaller’ items of handbag and shells in Ashley’s ku to a widening that includes tulips [sense of sight] a robin [sight and sound?] and an awakened interest in everything… Snyder-like?

    But beyond the change of focus, I can’t for the life of me discover how it links to Ashley’s ku! So I need some guidance, here. [and I *have* revisited the ‘radical montage’ page on ‘Simply Haiku’ :

    http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv2n4/renku/renku_editors_notes.html

    from your handbag
    the click-clack of shells
    (a)

    tulips, a robin,
    my interest
    reawakened
    (j)

    What am I missing? Help!

    ps…

    *”And then there’s the point that we aren’t writing haiku here folks!”*

    Thanks for stressing that, John. I don’t think it can be stressed enough, for those who, like me, are beginners at renku and also for those who are beginners at haiku. Though haiku, as we know it, evolved from the hokku and sometimes some of the other ku in Basho’s haikai-no-renga, a perfectly fitting ku from a renga is not necessarily a ‘stand-alone’ haiku. Nor is a haiku, excellent though it may be in itself, always the most fitting thing to offer in the renku process.

  91. lorin says:

    … or is it along the lines of ‘shells’ being exo-skeletons or remains of dead things, which can be collected… museum, archeological artifacts… to the living ‘tulip & robin’, and thence to the ‘interest’ , also a sign of life?

    hmmm… a link between dead and alive?

  92. lorin says:

    hey, Joseph… that’s a good haiku! 😉 Why not ask Ashley to
    delete it from here, and …um…submit it somewhere?

    http://geantree.webs.com/

    Leave yr original & John’s alteration here in the renku?

    Gotta go…a funeral today.

  93. ashleycapes says:

    Just let me know, Joseph, if you’d like me to do that?

    Hmm, the link? I see a couple that may fit – Lorin, what do you think about a simplistic link in that both deal with pronouns for the first time thus far in the renku?

    And I had a look again at Link and Shift

    http://renku.home.att.net/Link_Shift.html#Types%20of%20Linking

    and thought the relationship could fall under (in a loose sense, and I may be way off the mark here) either the Run-On or maybe Reflection/Transfer?

    For Run-On, there could be a direct narrative link, from the woman with the handbag and then to the man’s interest

    or

    for the same reasons, Reflection: I thought the ‘interest’ could be a reflection or transfer from the ‘shells’ in the bag

    .
    In a way it seems like as readers, the bigger leaps we take, the more it is possible to find a link? Is it almost too open to interpretation? I don’t know, perhaps not – but you did the same as me just before, you saw Snyder yourself, and came up with links re: change of focus that I didn’t see.

    Hope that makes sense?

  94. johnedmundcarley says:

    Nice work on the styles of linkage Ashley. There’s another one too: the clack/clack/clack is mirrored in the impresson/impression/impression of Josephs tulip/robin/nose stud (or whatever the unstated third flash was going to be.

    I think it’s really good to exchange thoughts on a particular linkage – but only after the verse choice. Personally I try never to analyse before hand – it was Basho’s great innovation that the vibe link (nioizuke) was more true than the reasoned link (imizuke). For this reason I personally discourage people to explain the linkage behind their candidate verses when they offer them (my son studies the philosophy of art and would instantly point out that we should never assume that the artist understands his own meaning anyway!).

    Joseph, thank you for being prepared to consider ammendments, and for providing a further alternative. I’d be grateful if we could stick with the shortened version for our woking text as the proportion is crucial and all the candidates that I’m working on need to avoid a direct person reference!

    Verses to follow shortly.

    Best wishes, John

  95. johnedmundcarley says:

    tulips, a robin,
    my interest
    reawakened
    (j)

    a slice of courgette
    on his tongue

    a threshing limbs
    in the grass

    the dancers dance on
    between the flames

  96. willie says:

    Hmmm.
    I like, and I’ll write it out;

    a slice of courgette
    on his tongue

    ever go a day without eating, take a bite of something to eat, and have the inside of your mouth nearly cramp up in response? I know it sounds funny (it’s as though your saliva glands “reawaken”), but “just a slice”, or that last cigarette, that craving, knowing that’s all you have, waiting to be savored to the fullest-you got that one shot at it, and, man, you desire it so, so it better be the best you ever had…that single, excruciatingly divine moment.

  97. Joseph says:

    Thank, John. I’m good. I agree with your son. I studied literary theory for much too long (have since dispensed with theory for the sake of creativity) to ascribe direct meaning to authors!

    Willie, after not having eaten all day, I just put a forkful of homemade rice and beans with habaneros in my mouth. Oh, yum!

    John, love the courgette!

  98. lorin says:

    Thanks for the link to the linking, Ashley…I need to absorb it all for a while, I think.

    ah, the courgette [must be the Italian influence here in Australia, because apart from foreign cookbooks, I know them as zucchini]

    tulips, a robin,
    my interest
    reawakened
    (j)

    a slice of courgette
    on his tongue
    (jc)

    …stands out as the best choice, for me, because it subverts expectations and has the light touch.

    A deceased friend of mine, who ran an annual open mic competition for ‘erotic poems’, used to advise, “the feather, please, not the whole chook.”

    So I see you have the slice here, John, and not the whole zucchini … which would’ve been a tad Freudian, to say the least.

    Compared, the other two seem heavily obvious in relation to Joseph’s ‘reawakened interest’, though I find them quite funny, in that they seem to be deliberately written as if they were extracts from the culminating scenes of #1 a bodice-ripper [threshing limbs] and #2 a ‘True Romance’ novel [dancing on between the flames]

    Whether those two verses would have the same droll effect if first seen juxtaposed beside a very different verse, or not, I don’t know.

    😉 … clever of you, John.

  99. lorin says:

    … still Freudian, though… imagine if those ‘match-cut’ photos went from the actor to a slightly open handbag or purse, then to a courgette/zucchini.

    If I was Canadian, I’d probably add: “but perhaps this is just me”.

    But I’m not. 😉

  100. Joseph says:

    John, I really like:
    a threshing (of) limbs
    in the grass

    The word “threshing” alone has power and motion and visual imagery. And “limbs?” What’s being cut?! Such wonderful tension in one lightning-strike scene. I like.

  101. ashleycapes says:

    me too – my fav is between the above and the ‘courgette’ ku – give me a bit of time to come back and explore why 🙂

    • ashleycapes says:

      …I think it’s because the ‘courgette’ is highly personal and it does, as mentioned, narrow the focus yet again – and while it remains light, as Lorin said. I imagined a chef – and food and sex often seem to be linked in art

  102. lorin says:

    o, I misread ‘threshing’ as ‘thrashing’…and ignored the indef article. whoops!

    … still, I can’t imagine what ‘threshing limbs’ or ‘a threshing of limbs’ would be.

    Threshing is what’s done to remove the husks from grain crops, isn’t it?

    …though at a stretch I can see ‘threshing limbs in the grass’ in context of a windy day…low limbs of trees threshing grass…that might’ve gone to seed.

    I still prefer ‘courgette’.

    lorin

  103. johnedmundcarley says:

    Thanks for the thoughts everyone. We’ll go with the courgette verse as, coming back to it, it’s clear that the other two candidates are a bit more strident. And I think the Beltane fire dance reference is too deeply buried in the fire offering.

    Di fatti, tempo fa, abitavo a lungo in Italia – but I’m English again (cured!) hence the English word: courgette (ho-ho).

    A confession: I really don’t like love verses. In this I’m similar to Basho – who kept them down to the absolute minimum or made sure his mates got them. I suspect his reasons were the same as mine – we’re both rubbish at writing them. This is the first love passage in a renku I’ve participated in for ages that doesn’t drop the batton. Thanks team.

    Ok – where to go next? Or rather: how? There’s a kind of Big Boy’s Book of Sabikidom recommendation that participants in a renku shouldn’t write all long or all short verses. So we need to switch the order. One way to do this is have a competitive submission verse between those poets who’ve already taken a short verse position. Well, it’d look a bit odd if I followed my own short verse with so much evident talent available elsewhere. So that leaves Ashley and Barbara in the frame to fight it out.

    To date in the poem we’ve gone summer/summer/non/non/spring/spring. There’s a generally held convention that ‘major’ seasons are followed by ‘minor’ (and vice versa). So our next season up will be winter and our last autumn. But an even more strongly held convention is that there’s always at least one non-season verse between the introduction of any new season (like all conventions in renku you’ll encounter classic sequences where the poets do otherwise).

    Ashley and Barbara, the invitation therefore is for you to compete to provide our non-season verse #7. We’ve now had three ‘person’ verses in a row (you might want to Google ‘ji-ta-ba + renku’ and/or ji-ta-han + renku) so we really should move to a non-person verse. It’s also wise to avoid animals (although we could get away with insects).
    And plants tend to replete with seasonal implications. So this is quite a tough call.

    One of my tricks for a non-person position which is also non-season is to consider microscopic or macroscopic scale stuff, or maths, physics, chemistry. But that’s just me (so probably best avoided!).

    Marks, get set, go! John

  104. lorin says:

    o, duh … Beltane… Latha Bealltainn, [I’ll be getting the sack!] the merry month of May etc

    Then that would’ve been a nice reference to have in the renku, carrying forward a different strand of the ‘corroboree’ motif. I’m sorry I ruined it by associating it with ‘True Romance’ fiction.

    Would there be anything against actually naming, in this sort of instance…eg ‘Beltane fire/ flames’?

  105. willie says:

    i’m afraid you’ve lost me with the Belthane reference.

    So little time, so much to read…

    She a poet?

  106. ashleycapes says:

    ok, I’m game! it does sound hard – I think ‘place’ sounds possible, I’ll try later tonight/tomorrow

  107. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    I’m pleased you decided on the courgette!

    Herewith my offers for next verse:

    on temple walls
    ubiquitous scarabs
    spell it out

    stairway to heaven
    blocked by the crash
    of a rising star

    in a haunted cave
    eerie winds drown
    glossolalia

    ~~~

    peace and love

  108. johnedmundcarley says:

    Thanks Barbara and Joseph for taking on the challenge.

    naming Beltane – no Lorin, there are no blocs on naming anywhere in a Junicho.

    By contrast the Kasen, and newer sequences directly predicated on it such as the Nijuin and the Triparshva maintain the convention that the first face/movement, called ‘jo’ in Japanese, should avoid direct naming. At it’s simplest this is a stricture inherited from medieval ‘high’ renga (JP: ushin renga) but it may also be argued that it was retained because it is an effective tool in maintaining the close tonal control that the first movement demands.

    In the specific context of my verse I didn’t name Beltane as I was trying to retain the level of indirectness that the previous two verses so successfully exploited. Coming back to the verses anew I thougt it read as though I was trying too hard – a sure indicator that the verse was flawed.

    There is also a potentially serious technical flaw. Whereas the seasons tend to make their appearance in non-calendar order in renku the internal logic of any single seasonal section should be chronological. This is effectively a ‘rule’ and for a very good reason – we don’t want the reader to be halted, and the poem reversed, by ‘Father Christmas’ coming immediately after ‘New Year’s hangover’, or ‘mature wheat in the breeze’ coming immediatley after ‘harvest’.

    Now in Britain we have real robins – not the thrush type thing that some foreigners call ‘robin’ (!) – and the British robin is associated very strongly with winter. So tulip+robin gives a Brit a sense of winter/spring cusp. In which case ‘Beltane’ is just about OK to follow as it is ‘early spring’. But without that particular ‘robin’ association the perception of Joseph’s verse surely slips to mid-spring, in which case Beltane becomes something of a reversal. Given that I’ve also asked the reader to stop and puzzle the damn thing out (by not naming Beltane) it all starts to look a bit messy! Courgette by contrast, at its edible stage, is very much spring/summer cusp so leaves us in the clear.

    These considerations are the reason why the weightier Kiyose (season word dictionary) and Saijiki (season word encylopedia) ascribe not just a season but a seasonal position to any particular kigo – ‘early’. ‘mid’, ‘late’, or ‘all’.

    Now, it is my personal belief that English-language renku should NOT adopt Japanese kigo – for a counter arguement please refer to the work of my late friend and colleague Willliam J Higgison. However the reasons for retaining an awareness of early/mid/late in a seasonal progression are, in my opinion, unassailable.

    Best wishes, John

  109. ashleycapes says:

    ok, here goes…

    little bones
    in hewn soil,
    hush at evening

    .

    a narrow way
    wall to wall
    clothesline

    .

    the lap of waves –
    a sun-hat
    covers lunch

    .
    perhaps the last one is a little obvious in it’s link? But I’m empty of haiku for now, had a good time with these ones though

    – my vote is for Barabara’s ‘temple walls’ ku 🙂

  110. willie says:

    a slice of courgette
    on his tongue / John

    Ash

    little bones
    in hewn soil,
    hush at evening

    .a narrow way
    wall to wall
    clothesline

    .the lap of waves –
    a sun-hat
    covers lunch

    These first two word associations are interesting. Slice-little bones, narrow way.
    The third verse seems to carry on the scene set by the sampling of the “appetizer’.
    Of the three, I prefer “little bones” for its seeming shift from a human topic and
    the ‘hushed’ silence-almost a quiet reverie on death.
    And hewn sounds so…’Woodie’.

    Barbara

    on temple walls
    ubiquitous scarabs
    spell it out

    stairway to heaven
    blocked by the crash
    of a rising star

    in a haunted cave
    eerie winds drown
    glossolalia

    The temple wall verse reminds me of Summer blockbuster movies chock full
    of digitized special effects-Indiana Jones, The Mummy. Sorry, but I’ve been
    desensitized to the whole Egyptian thing. And television in general…

    Stairway to heaven has the same effect on me; one more slow dance in the gymnasium
    with a drunken cheerleader. “Hey, do you guys know ‘Colour my World’?”
    Of course, I lack any tact in this statement; I remember hiring
    Willie Murphy and the Bumblebees for a high school dance-they played lowdown
    R & B, some real gone cats. Afterwards, the student council advisor came up to me
    and said. ” You ruined this dance, Sorlien!” Ten of us really dug them, I think.
    None of us could get near a cheerleader unless she were drunk.

    I like the association of talking in tongues in Barb’s third verse. For me, a reference to ghosts
    sharing ancient secrets to anyone who would dare listen despite the danger of “enchantment”.
    Plus I get to look in the dictionary again. I looked up more words in these comments than I have all year.
    Now that word gives me some wood! In a good way…
    The first line is a just a tad overpowering for me. Or is it ‘eerie’? My poor attempt at a rewrite, e.g.:

    spirits in the cave
    unexpected winds drown
    glossolalia

    At this time, between the two originals mentioned, I lean towards Ashley’s

    little bones
    in hewn soil;
    hush at evening

  111. lorin says:

    well, I still can’t chose one. For me, it would’ve been Ashley’s

    the lap of waves –
    a sun-hat
    covers lunch

    for the first line [associating ‘tongue’ with ‘lap’ and the sounds of sea and tongue-lapping] but then that sun-hat came in saying *SUMMER!* ;-)when this is a non-seasonal verse position… then ‘lunch’, too close to the courgette on the tongue [even with the innocent picnic lunch…never mind the goings-on in a certain William Burroughs novel]

    Still…love L1.

    I do like Barbara’s clever ‘glossolalia’, but it agree with Willie that the ku is overloaded.

  112. lorin says:

    I’m not keen on ‘hewn’ soil…but

    little bones
    in hewn soil;
    hush at evening

    is drawing my attention now.

    Would this be a possibility?

    little bones
    crunch underfoot…
    the evening hush

  113. willie says:

    howzabout if that earth was “tilled”? More factual, and still
    natural sounding.

  114. lorin says:

    … but also, considering all the archeological bits and pieces still coming to light in Australia [and elsewhere]

    little bones
    in hewn shale;
    hush at evening

    little bones
    at the cave mouth

    little bones
    from an ancient midden

    ?… just riffing on possibilities…use or lose

  115. willie says:

    Oh, I like the ‘hewn shale’; adds to the mystery and rediscovery of ages past, without any macabre overtones.

    No word on the more mysterious glossolalia? Not science, but spoken words and mysticism passed down through the ages; only through seance, overcoming one’s instinctual fears to learn the secrets of the ancestors.

  116. johnedmundcarley says:

    yellow moon…
    corroboree frogs
    gather at the pond
    (l)

    scents of ginger
    disguise the old dog
    (b)

    taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast
    (w)

    from your handbag
    the click-clack of shells
    (a)

    tulips, a robin,
    my interest
    reawakened
    (j)

    a slice of courgette
    on his tongue
    (je)

    little bones
    in hewn s—– …
    hush at evening
    (a)

    Hi everybody, with discussions this good who needs a sabaki! Yes, for me too it came down to a choice between Barbara’s ‘glossolalia’ and Ashley’s hyoid bones. In the end the geological timescale tipped me towards this choice.

    I’m taken by Lorin’s suggestion that ‘hewn shale’ might flow more directly than ‘hewn soil’. There is an arresting quality to ‘hewn soil’ but I wonder if in fact it displaces our wonder from the essential apposition of the principle image sets.

    And there’s a *really* big issue. Because the misconception is so commonplace that the interior verses of a renku sequence can be considered as a string of haiku I, and many other persons wishing to extend a more accurate understanding of the genre, push the message that only the hokku is in fact indistinguishable from a haiku. This is a true statement, and in terms of mainstream renku theory – which of course means ‘Japanese renku theory’ – it is unequivocal. Unfortunately because English-language haikai prosody is in a state of flux it is not so easy to make such absolute distinctions. If you want to give yourself a headache go over to Renku Reckoner and read the article ‘Cut or Uncut?’ and/or try some search strings on the term ‘nagekomi’ (you’ll probably have to ‘+ renku’ or ‘+ renga’).

    For our present purposes I think it is sufficient to ‘visually’ soften the point of articulation in Ashley’s verse. I would respectfully ask you Ashley to accept ellipsis points at end of line one rather than a harder pivot punctuation such as a dash, colon, semi-colon. I also ask you to reflect on soil/shale – but this is absolutely your call.

    Ok team, we have our closing order. Bearing in mind the stuff about not taking all long or all short verses we go Lorin (short), Barbara (long), Willie (short), John (long) and Joseph gets the honour of ageku – our last short verse. Also we have two more seasons, winter and autumn, which must be seperated by at least one non-season verse.

    I think its wise to finish on a pair – it gives us more chance of a pleasing compaction/consistency in the close that benefits from echoes of the more traditional way of finishing with a run of spring verses. So that means we now go either winter, non, non, autumn, autumn – OR – non, winter, non, autumn, autumn.

    So Lorin to you the choice of a winter verse next or a further non-season verse. Just an aside – if we want to be really Shofu (Basho-style) we might reflect that the old goat (sorry, ‘crow’) was very fond of hidden symmetries. Given that we have ‘summer moon’, were he writing a Junicho, he’d doubtless insist on ‘winter sun’!

    But that really is an aside. You can just about anywhere really. Anothe non-person verse wouldn’t do any harm though.

    Just a last thought (God this is turning out to be a mega-rant): renku (renga) theory has long dilated on ideas of ‘poem as mandala’ (since the Heian period anyway). The mandala in question being that understood by Shingon esoteric Buddhism. What we’re getting at is a ‘poem that contains (or realises) everything’ – a kind of cosmic gestalt achieved through the group consciousness manifest during the poem’s creation. Question is – sure, with a Kasen at 36 verses you can get a *tremendous* amount of stuff in…. but what does that mean in practice for a sequence as short as 12 verses? And if 12 verses means you can’t achieve ‘renku as mandala’ (moot point) does that mean that short sequences are ‘lesser’?

    Hmmmn…. J

    • ashleycapes says:

      (Permit me some rambling if I may?) I’d vote that shorter wouldn’t always be lesser – because we’d have to work so much harder to fit so much more in to 12 vs 36? (I reckon you’re a fan of the shorter forms too?)

      It’s a bit like haiku itself – amazing how the masters (and others, of course) could fit whole worlds of meaning into such a small number of words… so if we have the right kinds of words, phrases and ideas in our 12 verses, we should be able to match a kasen in some ways at least?

      But of course – it sounds like something for us to worry about (in all renku) – how could any number of verses, 12,20,100 ‘realise everything’ – at least, not without multiple readers anyway

      Hope that makes sense

  117. lorin says:

    I love the word ‘glossolalia’, Willie… the way the tongue moves when it’s spoken.

  118. lorin says:

    whoops…was thinking about what Willie said while you were posting, John, and didn’t notice you’d posted until after.

    ok, will try to get three possibles in within 24 hours.

  119. lorin says:

    ps… what do you think about this …that I almost suggested, then lost nerve, Asley & John? I didn’t feel that ‘evening’ added anything, in the case of this ku.

    little bones
    in hewn s—–
    the hush

    …no definate break/cut? Though perhaps an implied one, through the use of the def. art.

  120. lorin says:

    #1

    little bones
    in hewn s—– …
    hush at evening
    (a)

    Gondwanaland dreaming
    through months without sun

  121. lorin says:

    or

    #1

    Gondwanaland dreaming
    the months without sun

  122. lorin says:

    little bones
    in hewn s—– …
    hush at evening
    (a)

    #1

    gondwanaland dreaming
    of the distant sun

    #2

    thin sunlight
    through the clerestory window

    #3

    old men airing grievances
    in the winter sun

  123. willie says:

    Speaking from a Laurasian point of view, I sure like that Gondwana verse. Clever girl!

  124. lorin says:

    #2

    strained sunlight
    through the clerestory window

    ?

  125. lorin says:

    hey, Willie… thanks…well now I’m going to have to look up that L word 😉

  126. lorin says:

    ah, the *other* primal landmass 😉

  127. lorin says:

    d’ya think it could be legitimately shortened to:

    gondwana dreaming
    of the distant sun

    ?

  128. lorin says:

    ps I know we’re not supposed to say too much about our submitted ku, but I want to point out that ‘dreaming’ in that one can be read as both [either/or/ or both] gerund and verb participle. We have here such things as ‘snake dreaming’, ‘yam dreaming’ etc

  129. willie says:

    Ouch! You’ve directed your question directly to my weakness-a lack of education and liberal knowledge.
    A teacher I had said I had a natural inclination to write
    in a grammatically proper fashion, and then she probably had to put down some violent instigator in the classroom.

    So an inherent knowledge is all I have to go on. I would have loved to devote the time to greater knowledge, but, you could say I’ve had a lifetime of certain demands on my time.

    I can look at a wall and immediately see imperfections in it, and it takes me about 15 seconds to discover the depth of skill in one’s handicraft, (it involves a certain zen-like quality to know these things) but most everything else involving writing technique is study if I can prioritize the time. I do enjoy the challenges presented here, despite my obvious whining from time to time here about “writing over one’s head.” It’s been an education. Thanks.

    I’m not hung up on the concept of, um, tribal dreaming techniques. My attention is put to the possible “turn”
    between that verse’s L1 and L2.

    I see you’ve considered L2:

    ‘through’, ‘the’ and simply, ‘of the distant sun”

    Would you consider this?

    Gondwanaland dreaming
    months without sun

    I enjoy the L1 term with the additional “land” suffix.
    I conjure up the vision of an aesthetic cleric devoted to self discovery through sacrifice and loyalty to the earth; his birthplace; again, a mystic unity with the ancestors.

    The break, or pause after L2 adds to the drama for me.

  130. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    Congrats A.

    I would like to see the word shale in Ashley’s ku at l2

    little bones
    in hewn shale…
    hush at evening (a)

    followed by a variation on Lorin’s #1

    gondwanaland dreaming
    of long distant suns/

    peace and love

  131. ashleycapes says:

    Hi! So much to catch up on, sorry about the delay from my end – but thanks everyone for the support for ‘little bones’ ! very happy to see it up there.

    I think, and most of us agree, that we go with Lorin’s suggestion and change it to ‘shale’ as I’m happy to make any adjustment that makes the Junicho stronger 🙂 And also to go with John’s revision too – it breathes easy that way, huh?

    What else …

    I think Willie’s suggested revision of Lorin’s ‘gondwanaland’ is great and I also really like #3 – it’s a classic image and has a lot of character – even if it does bring people back in, it isn’t specific, so I don’t think it’d be a problem for the whole renku?

    Thanks again for the help and the discussion everyone!

  132. lorin says:

    hey Willie, you should see my walls! 11th year 9or 12th?) of drought and there are cracks right through I can put my little finger in. I have some big decisions to make if I’m not going to up (or not wake up) with a slate roof on my head.

    Education? My belief is that all who can claim they are educated are really auto-didacts, anyway, whatever bits of paper they have or do not have. So stop growling 😉

    […and f.y.i. I have a trade certificate, too, though long out of date. I left school at 14. First high school I stepped into was in my mid 20s, on my first teaching round]

    um…’tribal techniques’…no, the Dreaming or Dreamtime isn’t a practice or technique…it *includes* ‘creation stories’ and the re-creation of them in dance, music and visual art, but it involves a sense of time quite different from linear time or seasonal time. ‘Now’ and ‘then’ are not separated in any of the Dreamings.

    Gondwanaland dreaming
    months without sun

    yep, if John also thinks it works better, that’s fine with me. My main doubt has to do with rhythm. Pleased that the full name seems right to you. The other thing is, if Gondwanaland is capitalized, then Dreaming should be as well…which is why I revised it to no caps at all.

    …so how about”

    gondwanaland dreaming
    months without sun

    because I think Gondwanaland Dreaming would stand out too much in the renku…but that’s up to John.

  133. Keiji Minato says:

    Hi, everyone. I’ve been away from the site for some time, so this is the first time I read your Junicho.

    It is quite interesting to see the difference in rhythms and paces between it and the kasen. Each verse here feels more energetic than those in the kasen, and the links seem more direct. That might be partly because of the taste of the leader of each, but I guess the shorter form makes itself more charged naturally… Or is it because discussions here are more concentrated with fewer members? (I also like the slow, sedated pace of the kasen, though.)

    I really like:

    taiko drums,
    jazz messengers
    playing it fast (w)

    tulips, a robin,
    my interest
    reawakened (j)

    Great works!

  134. lorin says:

    Barbara, I like your variation, too. My problem with it, though, is that it seems more fanciful to include plural ‘suns’.

    The current theory is that Gondwanaland (or the part of it that’s now Australia) was, in the ‘dinosaur’ period, for about four months of the year in darkness. They have figured this out from remains of plant life and also the bone structure around those small dinosaur’s eyes, which seem to indicate development to accommodate long periods of Winter darkness. They had cute, big eyes, like in illustrations in some childrens’ books! Like owls and brush-tail possums 🙂

    It is our Sun, the same Sun we have now, that I mean as ‘distant’… most distant from the earth in Winter of each hemisphere.

  135. lorin says:

    …most distant at the Winter solstice, that is. I was trying to accommodate John’s mention of Basho’s renga poetics:

    “Given that we have ’summer moon’, were he writing a Junicho, he’d doubtless insist on ‘winter sun’!”

  136. lorin says:

    Thanks, Ashley for your vote for both the revised version of #1 and #3 🙂

  137. lorin says:

    Hi Keiji :-)…great to see you commenting here!

  138. lorin says:

    ps Keiji … (and everyone) don’t forget ‘gean’!

    http://geantree.webs.com/submissions.htm

  139. lorin says:

    I think I like this version best:

    gondwanaland dreaming
    of the distant sun

    …but, whatever 🙂

    …and if none fit well enough, I’m happy to write more.

  140. willie says:

    I wonder if any paintings on velvet exist of those “big-eyed” dinosaur children?
    “tribal techniques” was just to save time and space, Lorin.
    I’d already rambled enough. ” now and then are not seperated”…that’s interesting!
    (ascetics misspelled)

    Could there be an issue with the abruptness of, “months without sun” I suggested-masquerading as haiku?

    Dusted off the college grammar textbook. One of these days…
    Slate roof? Nice! The interior ceiling plaster is more likely to give way, however.

  141. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, sorry to be a bit late commenting – not sure how this works but everybody else seems to be in more consonant time zones…. which is impossible clearly!

    gondwanaland dreaming
    of the distant sun

    I can understand the attraction of this verse, particularly with the resonance of ‘the dream time’ but in truth I think it presents a couple of problems: I used to be a big fan of continental drift (got all their albums) so ‘Gondwanaland’ is familiar to me but that notwithstanding my lower (i.e. ‘real’) self keeps locating Gondwanaland somewhere equatorial – almost certainly in Africa. So ‘sun’ keeps being hot, even a distant one!

    I’ve a niggle with ‘evening’ at the end of the maeku (preceding verse) and ‘dreaming’ at the end of the first line of the tsukeku (added verse) – hence thoughts of ‘dream time’.

    But the real problems are that it is rather long, and extremely difficult to contract. This latter part is down in part to the word ‘Gondwanaland’ and in part to the density of meaning.

    This density of meaning property is the real issue – returning us to the earlier question of what is a ‘cut’ verse and what isn’t, and the issue of ‘haikuness’ or otherwise in the internal verses (JP hiraku) of a renku sequence. Basically – when there’s a lot going on at an intellectual level within a verse then it’s increasingly likely to halt the flow of a sequence.

    To be honest the candidate that strikes me as far more effective is the most intellectually accessible:

    old men airing grievances
    in the winter sun

    We have the nub of a very natural winter verse here where the mood directly finds expression in the season, and vice versa. Two minor problems – also rather long in both syllables and beats, and I don’t really want to repeat ‘old man’ c.f. ‘old dog’ in the wakiku – we could accept this if really necessary. But I think there must but lots of ways round it. One which suggests itself to me is:

    a slice of courgette
    on his tongue
    (je)

    little bones
    in hewn shale…
    hush at evening
    (a)

    an ancient grievance
    the winter sun
    (l)

    This has the quality of defocusing the third person plural (c.f. third person singular at the last-but-one [uchikoshi] position). It also strenghtens the time-scale link that Lorin clearly has beating around about in her cranium. I don’t believe the level of syntactic disjunction is a problem – but if we adopt this or similar it will mean that the next verse will be best if it employs unbroken syntax.

    Comments please.

    Ashley – I’ve dropped the ellipis points in the maeku back to line two on our main poem page – sorry about that slip of mine; I did indeed say ‘line one’.

    Yes, you make an excellent point about multiple readers in the question of ‘renku as mandala’. By extension this seems to suggest the stanzas and links might be best if they were amenable to multiple readings. However, at a primary level we also need to pull the reader through the poem so as to achive whole-poem dynamic and emotional/tonal effect.

    I am indeed a fan of shorter sequences, in fact I’m something of a convert. But, I do think that the desire to include variety (or worse, the sense of obligation to do so) can shade into a search for diversity at all cost – and this tends to generate sequences so tangential as to be unrewarding.

    Best wishes, John

    Best wishes, John

  142. lorin says:

    an ancient grievance
    the winter sun

    …but how are we to read this? The ways I can read it are:

    a) an ancient grievance [is] the winter sun

    [which doesn’t make sense to me, even when I undo the inversion. It seems a contrived and ‘poetic’ way of saying…what?]

    or

    b) an ancient grievance :: the winter sun

    [as two images juxtaposed in a haiku-like manner, but with the caesura marker omitted. This seems to be to be a haiku in essence, though one where the ‘gap/leap’ is huge]

    It relates’ to Ashley’s ‘bones in shale’ only by the adjective, ‘ancient’, and seems to stand out, among all of the other ku in the renku so far, as stumbling block, though I do see that it could be the ‘bare bones’ of a haiku (but haiku is not what is wanted, here?)

    So, until further comments enable me to understand it better, I’m not keen on putting my name to it.

    Meanwhile, I’ll offer this more straightforward ku, which has either the same syllable count or one less than the proposed ku, depending on how we pronounce ‘ancient’.

    little bones
    in hewn shale…
    hush at evening
    (a)

    winter sun
    strikes the wollemi pine

    http://www.wollemipine.com/aboutwp.php

  143. lorin says:

    “The interior ceiling plaster is more likely to give way, however.”

    It has. Have taken it completely off the lathe & plaster hallway ceiling before someone got decapitated, as it was calving in great chunks and smashing to the floor. Ceiling roses hanging by the electrical wiring. Looks like the haunted house…and then there’s me rattling around in it, to add to the effect.

    Walls, well all the good solid plasterers have gradually retired and died, now.

  144. willie says:

    Lorin,

    Drywall, firring and an experienced hand. Find the old hand in the weekly newspaper.
    Sounds like you need a passle of Mexicans; or an expatriate Yank. If I had a passport I might be on my way.
    Which reminds me. If I should suffer an unexplained absence, its because I’ve been thrown onto the street.
    I’m fairly resilient, though. Just ain’t no work unless you want to cut someone’s throat and watch them bleed out on the floor. Currently, there’s blood up to our ankles. It’s gonna get deeper.

  145. willie says:

    oops, wrong forum-ignore the man behind the curtain.

    A reread of the current junicho does reveal a certain brevity
    in each stanza which is appealing and easy to read.
    First time I’ve really visited the current status page, actually. Perhaps we all could stand back and take a look?

    A fan of the ‘drift”, John? Didn’t think you was that old.
    A reference to India ( Blighty influence?) in the Wikipedia definition of Gondawanaland, although I was struck by the explanation of the earliest time wherein four months passed without sun.

    To maintaintain the “style” we have thus far established, I could agree to a contraction of the “G” submission. But how? And its not my verse…

    gondwana visions
    months without sun

    I don’t know. From previous Gean submissions, Lorin already realizes I lack any taste.
    Ahh, just tryin’ to keep my hand in, I guess.

    Shoot, I still feel comfortable with the rhythm of gondwanaland-six syllables to five.

    winter sun
    “bathes” the wollemi pine

  146. lorin says:

    “bathes” , in context, works really well, imo, Willie.

    …right, I’m off the computer, on with some work.

  147. johnedmundcarley says:

    a slice of courgette
    on his tongue
    (je)

    little bones
    in hewn shale…
    hush at evening
    (a)

    winter sun
    strikes the wollemi pine
    (l)

    Thank you Lorin, that’s absolutely brilliant. As the man said – ‘go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine’. This verse is exemplary: the primary link of mood – the ancient wistful pine is a haiaki classic and nicely picks up the evenign hush. This carries the reader through whilst ‘Wollemi’ gives a wealth of association to build, in association with the maeku, a complex iconography of recovered history/lost worlds. The metre is perfect. And you hit the Basho button with ‘winter sun’. Brava!

    Ok, easy life! Barbara is up next with a long verse that is non-season, and can go just about anywhere it likes. In terms of overall dynamic/emotional texture we can, if we wish, go to quite a dark place either here or at Willie’s added verse. That’s not an obligation, or a requirement, and certainly not a rule. I’m just speculating. As Keiji commented earlier – the sparky dynamic that we have in our workspace tends to a primary feel of ‘upbeat’. In terms of the ‘renku as mandala’ stuff we might consider a blue-note.

    Best wishes, John

  148. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi folks – a quick ps on dark place. Why the potential for such grim goings on only now or at verse positon #10? Well, although the Junicho does not by default have the customary ‘spring blossom’ etc ending I’m a strong believer in the old show business maixm: always leave them laughing.

    And if you’re a fan of dark places (specially 1980’s English ones) check out the wonderful Garth Morenghi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNfQ0ORwSDM

    Best wishes, John

  149. Joseph says:

    Whew! Sorry to be absent for the scintillating discussion. I was really taken by the suggestion: “an ancinet grievance” but might have emended the verse to:
    an ancient grievance
    with the winter sun

    as a definite lead-in to something weirdly dark and apposite.

    Though Lorin’s ‘wollemi pine” is stark and natural. A good, strong image.

    John, can you discuss a bit the relative restrictions and exceptions to metrical form in the junicho?

    Can’t wait to see what Barbara follows with!

  150. lorin says:

    winter sun
    finds the wollemi pine

    ?

  151. lorin says:

    whoops…didn’t refresh! Sorry.

  152. lorin says:

    Thank you, John…whew! 🙂

  153. ashleycapes says:

    Fantastic – like the revisions, and the pine really does build from the evening – taking us to a lovely scent.

    And I like Joseph’s revision too – a nice combination there. 🙂

    So, onto whatever darkness Barbara and Willie can conjure up!

  154. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    Congratulations Lorin. I wasn’t sure if your l2 was finds or strikes; I’ve used strike.

    here are my options:

    winter sun
    strikes the wollemi pine/l

    all tools down…
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station

    or

    lucky bisexuals
    enjoying the best
    of both worlds

    or

    on victims’ doors
    a thank you note
    from the serial killer

    ~~~

    peace and love

  155. lorin says:

    Hi Barbara, yes, ‘strikes’ is the version John chose, and I’m really pleased about that. 😉 I think it’s a resonant (forgive the pun) if sometimes ambiguous, verb, since we use it in several ways.

    all tools down…
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station

    🙂 Ha,’bring on the Kiwis’! (I’ll be getting shot if I don’t watch out)

    Nice ku! This is my favourite, of the three, and quite ‘dark’ enough for me in all its implications.

    Interesting that you’ve made it clear that ‘revolt’ here is a noun and not a verb.

    I’m wondering whether John will want to change the structure, though, as it’s quite haiku-like. Even if it were an actual haiku, though, (and I don’t think it clearly is, since L1 is so closely connected to the rest) you wouldn’t need the points of ellipses or any other caesura mark, since the def. art. at the beginning of L2 is enough to show separation between the two parts.

    ~~~~~~~~

    cheers,
    Lorin

  156. Joseph says:

    Yes, but even as a haiku, the verse works in sequence with our fromer ku. Babrara, I love:

    all tools down…
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station

    but agree with Lorin that the structure might be changed a bit. A suggestion: keep the pausing ellipses, but lose the def. article in L2. Like so:

    all tools down…
    shearers’ revolt
    at the station!

    So the verse becoms part image, part declaration! (Just a thought to play with words.)

    I think your,

    on victims’ doors
    thank you notes
    from the serial killer

    is awkward metrically. But maybe change “the” in L3 to “a”? I do like how this ku links to the verb “strikes” in Lorin’s preceeding.

  157. John Carley says:

    little bones
    in hewn shale…
    hush at evening
    (a)

    winter sun
    strikes the wollemi pine
    (l)

    all tools down
    as shearers revolt
    at the station
    (b – per jec !)

    linguistic note – ‘station’ is similar to Amanglic ‘ranch’, Britspeak ‘estate’.

    Hi team, it’s a good wheeze to always post the working triumvirate of verses as we always need to be aware of the crucial injunction to move away from the last-but-one verse.

    In our case the last-but-one position employs ellipsis points so it’s probabaly wise to avoid them here. Above I therefore offer a draft that uses the conjunction ‘as’ and moves the word ‘revolt’ from noun to verb as colleagues also tried out.

    By the way – I applaud the speculation on whether or not Barbara’s initial draft was a ‘cut’ verse or not, and welcome the suggestion that the ultimate arbiter of such things in English-langugae renku can only be the effect of any particular syntactic structure when viewed/read in sequence.

    It’s interesting to speculate on the seasonality of Barbara’s verse. Most obviously it is ‘early summer’. But if it refers to the iconic 1891 shearers’ strike it could just as easily be ‘winter’ (the strike lasted over six months). Does this raise issues with my suggestion of ‘as’? Hmmn, not sure.

    little bones
    in hewn shale…
    hush at evening
    (a)

    winter sun
    strikes the wollemi pine
    (l)

    all tools down,
    six months into
    the shearers revolt
    (b – per je2)

    I really think the verse should stand whatever the draft because it’s too good to lose – there’s more to it than the simple word link, and anyway a good renku sequence should have at least one such link (c.f. kotobazuke).

    Comments please.

    Willie – as we finalise the draft you might wish to begin thinking about directions for verse #10. This will need to be unequivocally non-season. Other than that most things are open to us.

    Best wishes, John

  158. John Carley says:

    John, can you discuss a bit the relative restrictions and exceptions to metrical form in the junicho? – Ashley

    That’s a really big subject Ashley. And a vital one IMHO.

    There are a whole lot of issues about the structuring of any given verse around things like when a pause becomes a pivot, and whether a pause and/or pivot is of itself the same thing as a ‘cut’ verse. This stuff is mainly discussed in terms of the three liner – the ‘long’ verse – because a core issue is whether or not renku verses are ‘like haiku’.

    There’s an extended examination of this at my Renku Reckoner site under the title ‘Cut or Uncut’. It’s a bit polemical.

    Metre is a wider issue and it’s allied to that of ‘extent’ – by which I mean ‘how long is the verse’. And as you say there’s the related question of whether or not these qualities differ depending on the sub-form of renku one is writing – ie: is a Kasen different to a Junicho in this regard?

    The vast majority of renku sequnces have been, and are, written in Japanese. Of these the overwhelming majority use a type of prosody which is called ‘teikei’ – strict form. This is the famous 5/7/5 for the long verse (familiar to us from haiku) and 7/7 for the short verse – if you’re into comparative linguistics you might want to explore whether these numbers quantify syllables, mora, or ‘on’ (a Japanese term). Probably the latter!

    What is clear is that there are set proportions for long and short verses. What is also clear, if you read any Japanese, is that all forms of metrical and other phonic considerations influence the choice of sound elements that poets (clue!) deploy over these bare bones. It is also clear that phonic considerations can inflect the relationships *between* verses.

    So the fact that our early attempts at English-language renku tend to be full of ‘short’ verses which in fact have more syllables than adjacent ‘long’ verses is a very far removed from the source literature. As is the idea that *all poetics are bad* – which comes from a rather radical, and in my view questionable, take on English language haiku which is largely unrelated to the source literature of that genre too (we’re not talking about tropes here – which are clearly too weighty for any minimalist stanza form in whatever language).

    So, in all of this the Junicho is essentially similar to the Kasen (as they have been practiced in Japanese) though given that the Junicho is very new I would expect that it within the teikei constraints the Junicho attracts more contemporary diction/word choice – bit like if you’n’me switch from sonnets to cinquains – we might be tempted to lower the register a bit.

    However there is one recognised renku pattern that bucks this trend. The Rokku is very new but is starting to gain popularity in Japan. The Rokku is composed of as many six verse segments that the poets expect to have time to complete. Typically (for the ones I’ve seen anyway) they tend to vary between 18 and 30 verses i.e. between three and five lots of six verses.

    The Rokku’s originator, Haku Asanuma, stipulates that, irrespective of the number of segments, the penultimate segment should be written in a free verse manner i.e. not in alternating 17 and 14 syllable (beat, whatever) verses.

    What we have here therefore is a kind of inverting mirror: Haku is urging his contemporaries to consider whether or not absolute adherence to strict form (teikei) is a weakness. Whist I’m urging my contemporaries to consider whether or not English-langue renku can effectively be treated as principally a type of free verse.

    I found Keiji’s earlier comment really interesting as he clearly has true fluency in both languages (which I do not). He spoke of a sense of direct linkage between our verses. And I wonder – is it that the sematic linkage appears more ineluctable because the metrical relationships are integral to the structure of the poem – which Keiji won’t have encountered much in English-langauge renku.

    These are really fundamental issues buddy. I have encountered a sincere strand of argument amongst many commentators who wonder if renku can transfer successfully to any language other than Japanese. This is not a xenophonic position – but rests on two serious questions: the degree to which notions of link and shift are culturally specific, and the crucial role that form plays in expressive freedom.

    My answer is that universals underlie all seeming specifics, and that form is ductile. Renku is not therefore a Japanese literary genre, but rather a literary genre that has arisen in Japan.

    Best wishes, John

    • ashleycapes says:

      I think it was actually Joseph, who asked that excellent question, John – but I’ll certainly take the credit 🙂

      Wow, much to think about. I really liked the questions of structure-as-freedom and the idea of link and shift being culturally specific.
      In that sense, does the argument mean (also) that L&S are ‘culturally inherent’ inherent to a culture, and thus difficult to use when you grow up outside a culture? I’m reminded of John Bird’s discussion on the problematic nature of trying to ‘create’ kigo in other languages. But we all seem to believe that it’s possible to use link & shift – so it must be, as you said, a notion of degrees? How well does it translate?

      And structure as freedom – is this a bit like, in the way that imposed structures can force you to be creative and search for new linguistic solutions, rather than falling back on your usual bag of tricks?

      Thanks, John – that was a great read

  159. willie says:

    Yes, sir!

    I anticipated this verse, Barb. As John noted, too good to pass up.

    A bit rushed here due to outside pressures:

    the card shark
    goes all in

    an offering
    to the insect queen

    the pimps, the hustlers
    new arrivals each day

    blue meanies
    rise from the deep

    as for craft
    I still believe

    Don’t ask…

    Willie

  160. Joseph says:

    I love “blue meanies!”

  161. lorin says:

    “I really think the verse should stand whatever the draft because it’s too good to lose – there’s more to it than the simple word link, and anyway a good renku sequence should have at least one such link (c.f. kotobazuke).” John

    I agree, and that there’s a lot more to Barbara’s ku than the ‘kotobazuke’/ word/link, too. Like John, I immediately thought of the historical shearers’ strike.

    [Willie, you will not be pleased to hear that it was broken by the importation Kiwi shearers… the more things change…]

    I also liked the movement from the hints about ‘deep history’ in the previous verses to more recent, human history: the history of labour movements. [yes, Veronica, there once was such a thing] Also the expansion to a ‘story’ that includes a great number of people in action…something that we didn’t have in the renku before.

    I don’t know which of the three to pick, Barbara’s original or one of John’s variations, so I’ll leave that up to Barbara and John to decide.

  162. lorin says:

    I thought ‘blue meanies’ were…um, a street drug… pills…well they were in the 60s and 70s, anyway.

  163. lorin says:

    the pimps, the hustlers
    new arrivals each day

    What do you think about losing the articles, Willie?

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day

    I like this one. It seems to bridge the gap between the ‘then’ of Barabara’s ku to the present day ‘labour’ problems. What do you do when there’s no work to be had? Whatever you can, to survive. Then, the neutral ‘new arrivals’ can also relate to the ‘strike-breakers’ [not there in Barbara’s ku, but in the story] and, if I understand Willie rightly, the current changing of labour laws to make the work scenario an international free-for-all. Dark times, indeed.

    the card shark
    goes all in

    This one, too. Perceptive! People will gamble, be lured by impossible odds, the more down and out they are. Where do they put all the pokie machines? In the areas where the income is lowest, where unemployment is highest. Today it’s corporations taking advantage, yesterday it was individual opportunists.

    Both seem to fit the established rhythms of this renga well.

  164. willie says:

    Lorin,

    Yes, perhaps the articles preceding pimps and hustlers are a bit too prosaic. (right word?) It’s true, I am prone to dramatics. I like my original’s rhythm, but it may be out of line with the brevity and conciseness of the other stanzas.
    I’d appreciate the others input on the subject.

    “pimps and hustlers” is also an option.

    The ‘blue meanies’ drug lingo in the day might have been a reaction to the Beatles animated Yellow Submarine movie characters. Interesting. Prescription benzedrine? I’m a wealth of knowledge today.

    The laws haven’t changed. They’re just blatantly ignored here. As historically significant a period for the labor movement now as in the early 20th century, in my opinion.
    The sides and motivation are a bit hazy, though.

    Dead on about exploiting the poor folks, no matter their origin.

  165. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    Thank you for your comments on these ku.
    yes, I was concerned about the ellipses again, but if, as Lorin says, the verse can work and not be a haiku which we don’t want, then I like my original without the dots…

    Whatever John thinks is best in this case, of course.

    all tools down
    as shearers revolt
    at the station
    (b – per jec !)

    I much prefer

    all tools down
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station/b

    or could it be

    all tools down,
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station

    I didn’t really like the six months one.

    Peace and Love

  166. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    I like this one best with Lorin’s revision:

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day/w

    blue meanies I understood to be magic mushrooms; I’ve tried them thirty years ago whilst listening to Tangerine Dream and had an amazing and memorable experience…

    peace and love

  167. willie says:

    Thank you, Barbara,

    And sorry to keep clipping your name!

    Didn’t mean to dash in, but I’m afraid I’ll lose connection any time now.

    I agree with you about the ‘six months’; here, I’ll check again…yep, I believe I detect a hesitancy in flow.
    Could be my Ameri-speak. Are we trying to avoid a haikuru, haikuri…’ ah shucks, a haiku-like verse? ‘Into’ causes me some distress as well as “as’.
    I would prefer

    all tools down,
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station

    Joseph? Ah, never mind… <:~))

  168. Joseph says:

    The blue meanies are those terrible thoughts/people/circumstances that get you down despite your fortitude to persevere. I don’t know about all of you drug-addled fiends out there! 😉

    But, Barbara, you did make me dig into the vinyl collection to find my old Tangerine Dream!

    Willie, I do like:

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day

    as if the outside rhythms of life invade the inner. The next verse must deal with this insurgence.

    And thank you John for the ideas about meter and form. Very informative.

    Joe

  169. lorin says:

    …coming back to Barbara’s, rereading John’s variations, I find the first of the two works best for me, too:

    all tools down
    as shearers revolt
    at the station

    … yet ‘shearers revolt’, though perfectly acceptable, does sound odd to my ear. I can understand why Barbara chose the noun version. Is it a bit like the kind of ambiguity in the Wizard of Id, I wonder? ” Rodney: ‘Sire! The peasants are revolting!’ King: ‘Yes, I’ve always thought so, too.’ [‘Do shearers revolt?’ ‘ No, I find them quite attractive’]

    If Barbara’s original seems too ‘cut’…hmmm…Barbara, may I offer a more vernacular variation…

    all tools down
    as shearers sit it out
    at the station

    ?

    ok, there’s an additional syllable, but it sounds more natural than the verb version of ‘revolt’, and though less heroic, reflects the tedium of waiting without work or pay.

    … another possibility is quotation marks and the ‘loaded *and*’:

    ‘all tools down’
    and shearers sit it out
    at the station

    …same scenario, different emphasis?

    … or am I getting carried away? Time to get off the computer!

  170. lorin says:

    ps Barbara… in my judgment, your original isn’t a haiku, but that’s not for reasons of structure or form. The form is like that of a 3 line haiku. [haiku is not, imo, defined by form]

    ps John…season, well, if anything, shearing is early spring. Even late Winter, we often see the newly shorn shivering in paddocks. Don’t forget we don’t have snow and such…well, only in high country, of which there’s little. But is season an important consideration, here?

  171. lorin says:

    …and if all that ‘hissing’ annoys [shearers sit it out], how about ‘wait it out’?

  172. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi everybody, thanks again for so much high quality interchange. Over on the main page I’ve updated our working text. Do go and have a read – it’s very good!

    I’ve gone with a ‘nature identical’ take on Barbara’s initial posting and Willie’s inspired pimps and hustlers verse, in the suggested draft which drops the articles. A side note on this latter – Japanese doesn’t use articles so there are no conventions on such in the source literature but in my experience if a maeku uses a lot of definites (the) or indefinites (a) then the added verse probably does best to avoid them where poss. Given that Barbara uses ‘the’ twice, Willie’s use of a futher two ‘the’s’ would risk looking a bit static.

    Guys, I’m very tired today (all the beer is catching up!) so I’ll take an early bath. I’ll go back through the discussion strands in the morning in case there’s renku theory stuff that wants addressing. And of course I’m up next with the first of our closing autumn pair.

    Very interesting comment btw that Joseph (I might have go it right this time!) makes about the way Willie’s verse places certain duties upon the upcoming verse (mine). Yes indeed. High quality verse does this. Thank you all so much for making this such a rewarding experience for me. Oops… time to cut the … (mustard?) Me up next. Gulp! J

    • Joseph says:

      I like beer too! Okay. I’ve been a bartender/manager for many years before opting for impecunity and teaching for a living. Sigh.

  173. willie says:

    Steady on, lad! Whatever you have to do to fortify yourself…in moderation! Hope the peer pressure hasn’t been too much.

    yeah, how do you follow that? Don’t worry, you have all our confidence!

  174. willie says:

    Oh, and lest I forget, thank you for the detailed information you’ve so kindly shared with us. I for one, have taken note, and am better for it.
    You are most generous, sir.
    Arrigato, sensei.

  175. ashleycapes says:

    Looks and reads great, I’m living in anticipation for the final verses!

  176. johnedmundcarley says:

    Sorry team, I’m a bit behind schedule here. Verses to come soonest. Honest! J

  177. lorin says:

    hey, John… please take your time. Willie’s is a dark one alright…how to turn that into an upbeat ending in two verses…cripes! I don’t envy you, in this position.

    But I reckon Shakespeare could do it, if he happened to be hanging around. No wonder Kurosawa [film-maker… have I spelt it right?] loved him!

    ‘o, brave new world
    that hath such people in it’ – Miranda

    Perhaps we need a bit of the true Brit at this point? 😉 for balance.

  178. johnedmundcarley says:

    all tools down,
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station
    (b)

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day
    (w)

    —————

    first the swifts
    now the swallows
    head down south

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee

    reds and ochres
    seep into
    a riot of green

    Hi all, some candidates for you comments please.

    On season in the shearers’ revolt verse – well… on season: in our source literature the seasonality of a particular reference is arrived at in two ways which tend to overlap. One element is that some things only happen at a given time of year: rice harvest, new academic term, festival of the dead. etc – everyone knows when these things happen so they are automatically ascribed to a certain period in the calendar. The second element is that a particularly well known poem (or other piece of literature) places the lesser-spotted-knadge-nibbler forever in association with the ripening turnip. The poem gets included in this or that collection, and the saijiki from then on always identify both ‘ripening turnip’ and ‘knadge-nibbler’ as ‘early autumn’ (or whenever the heck it is that turnips ripen). This is irrespective of the fact that the knadge-nibbler is present the whole year round. I guess what I’m driving at here is that in many instances kigo and kidai can be arrived at purely by convention/precendent (if you want to pursue the implications of this run some search strings on “hon’i” or “kidai + hon’i”.

    So, as Lorin remarks, in terms of actuality our shearer’s revolt verse could be anywhere from mid-spring to mid autumn – pusing the envelope we might even alledge winter/spring cusp to autumn/winter cusp. The only way therefore ‘shearer’s’ revolt could get a definitely ascribed seasonality such as ‘early summer’ would be for it to be listed as such in a saijiki thanks to a source poem being it’s agreed referant (by common acclaim, editorial quirk, whatever). There’s a German woman living in Japan called Gabi Greve who is currently compiling just such a saijiki for English-language haikai.

    On thing is certain: Barbara’s verse is not ‘non-season’. It has to be spring, summer or autumn. In this it is technically in ‘error’. Or rather, given that I’m the sabaiki, its inclusion is ‘a mistake’. I have failed to abide by the rules of renku.

    Except that there are almost no rules in renku. The vast majority of considerations presented as such are only conventions and precedent. To my reading Barbara’s verse has a wealth of impetus carrying us forward, and no quailities that halt us or cause us to return to earlier tones, materials or times of year. So whilst it is technically a season verse in a non-season position I simply don’t care!

    Best wishes, John

  179. lorin says:

    first the swifts
    now the swallows
    head down south

    I like this one, John.

    🙂 and see there’s an immediately recognisable, Northern hemisphere ‘kigo’ in there.

    Thanks for the [very funny] explanation about the appropriation of practically everything to a season, and the sabaiki’s dilemma….which rules to observe and when. Yikes!

    The centuries of Japanese literary convention that have made ‘kigo’ what it is! To what extent can Westerners [perhaps particularly those of us in the southern hemisphere] subscribe to ‘kigo’? Though of course we have to, to be involved in renku/renga. The only thing I’d whinge about as far as cross-hemisphere renku goes would be the use of month names as kigo. Snow in December? Ho ho ho. Beach in December? Ho ho ho from the other hemisphere!

    Australian kigo? Well, who knows, such a thing *might* develop, over centuries. I have my doubts. With John Bird, I doubt that Australians could agree on one place to fix the literary ‘seasonal happenings and associations’ in. Historically, we couldn’t even agree on a national capital, and had to section off a paddock or three in the middle of nowhere and invent Canberra as the seat of a national government. Some states have ‘daylight saving/ summer time’, others refused. Cross the border from NSW into Queensland in the Summer and you have to set your watch forward an hour!

    Gabi and I have some interesting discussions. I do learn from her. One of the first things she said: ‘Kigo is not the weather report!’ 🙂

    cheers,
    lorin

  180. ashleycapes says:

    HI John and all!

    reds and ochres
    seep into
    a riot of green

    Is my fav of the three – I like the colour link back to Willie’s pimps and the power and movement of the word ‘riot’ in a visual (but still-ish) nature-based link – and not in the least I like it because ‘riot’ is also a great contrast with ‘seep’ (I love oppositions in small spaces)

  181. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    I noticed John, that we started the junicho with a colour, Yellow, and we’ve had birds earlier too, does this matter
    if the ageku repeats these? Also I wonder if riot and revolt are not too close?

    But since you are the final decider I think my favourite of these is reds and ochres. I do like the word riot.

    reds and ochres
    seep into
    a riot of green

    first the swifts
    now the swallows
    head down south

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee

    Peace and Love

  182. willie says:

    So whilst it is technically a season verse in a non-season position I simply don’t care!” JEC

    Well, we’ll let it go this time.

    For the most part I really like these submissions, John. I recognized a repetition in the use of sentence structure
    in each that combines with the previous verse.

    pimps, hustlers

    swifts – swallows
    pinned and pegged
    reds and ochres

    A quick check of link descriptions at ‘Renku Home’ leads me to believe each uses an echoing link, “hibaki”, if memory serves me. Well done.

    In addition the ‘swifts’ verse mirrors the previous stanza’s movement with ‘head down south’ as does the ‘washing’ verse’s implied flock in migration with the use of ‘a perfect vee’. I suppose your third submission’s use of ‘seep’ implies’ an infiltration of sorts, but with a more subtle action.

    My first gut reaction would have been to choose your first verse of swifts and swallows, though now I find the second’s subtly clever reference eluding to migratory birds (‘a perfect vee’) more appealling, as I typically denote bird migration to be more noticeable in autumn. Well, up until this year when I began to take better note of the flocks coming as well as going, something I can attribute to studying haiku, and seeking respite from a particularly uncomfortable winter.
    Despite this, I believe most of the memorable writings of poets throughout the ages refer to birds departing: autumn.

    In re: kigo, I recently questioned Sensei Gabi about another’s use of month as seasonal marker and her reply was something to the effect that, unless otherwise noted,
    one might assume a northern hemisphere, um, location based on the dominance of the Japanese saijiki.
    I was concerned about my Austrailian friends being able to relate to that poem. Her answer may somehow relate to your question of the swifts and swallows heading down south, Lorin.

    Sorry, John, but to me, in retrospect, the ‘red and ochre’
    verse seems a bit formulic, just a little contrived, i.e., if I compare it to many I’ve seen that get published in some of the established haiku websites.
    Next time I contrive something, which will be any day now, feel free to call me on it, buddy.

    By the way, I’ve never witnessed a lesser spotted knadge nibbler in action, but my son and I did spot a snipe the other day!

    Joseph, listening to Hampton Hawes right now-inspiring!

    • Joseph says:

      Jumping with the Hamp! Excellent. I am in the bookstore right now, listening to Tom Waits sing about his chocolate Jesus. Love that song.

  183. lorin says:

    Hi Willie, yes, I know Gabi’s views re months as kigo, basically, Northern hemisphere is the ‘default’ hemisphere, so ‘July’ is Summer, unless otherwise noted. But who wants to note, in a renku, ‘this verse was written by a person from the Southern hemisphere, so July means Winter.’ Certainly no haiku journal is going to add such a footnote, either!

    I don’t have a problem with swifts and swallows heading south at all, it’s a fair enough kigo for the Northern hemisphere, and in that case, an observable thing.

    …and I like the flow and the way that ku fits with yours, yet changes the mood from ‘dark’ to birds heading for sunnier and warmer climes, also the sense of lightness and freedom that one associates with bird flight, away from the mood of your ku, above and moving away from that rather crowded and sleazy city. Perfect transition, imo, though I also like the painterly ‘reds and ochres’ Spring? ku… different, and more abstract. Unlike Ashley, though, I’m not all that keen on ‘riot’. For me it approaches cliche… perhaps I’ve read ‘riot of colour’ too often in the gardening sections of magazines and advertisements for seed catalogues etc. and become jaded…and am unfairly transferring this to John’s ‘riot of green’? Which isn’t quite the same, really.

    The names of the months are different though. They are a calendar reference, not a seasonal reference, I would argue, for Western renku when there are participants from around the world. ah well… 🙂

    Ya don’t get birds checking the calendar [whoops! Half-way through November already! Where did I put my flight schedule ?]

  184. lorin says:

    …and anyway, I think using month names is a lazy way of ‘showing’ season, even within the one hemisphere 😉

    …and have noticed that no-one has done it here 🙂

    • Joseph says:

      I agree with your discussion of month names, Lauren. Seems too easy for identification. As for colors, John, wouldn’t you rather name the object displaying that color rather than the color itself? (WI am thinking of Basho, but also of William Carlos Williams: “the thing”). Just some thoughts on this informative discussion.

  185. johnedmundcarley says:

    all tools down,
    the shearers’ revolt
    at the station
    (b)

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day
    (w)

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee
    (je)

    Hi everybody, thanks for the careful consideration.

    You are spot on – the reference to named birds is simply too much in such a short renku sequence; it takes us back almost inevitably to the robin.

    To name a colour is not quite in the same category but it is dodgy, not least because ‘ochre’ is starting to close in on ‘yellow’ which, be virtue of being in the hokku, most stylists would regard as inviolate. I am equivocal about ‘riot of green’ but not, on reflection, about ‘riot’. I think there is a real danger that ‘riot’ directs us back to ‘revolt’ in the all important last-but-one position (uchikoshi) and we end up with ‘revolt/low-life/riot’.

    Willie’s reading of the washing line verse strikes home. At a primary level we are given the possible quasi-narrative link of the cheap end of town with all the washing strung out, whilst the deeper level link is to migration of people and, by extension, the ‘classic’ season topic (JP: kidai) – the migration of flocks of birds.

    In fact it’s not so much ‘by extension’. It’s highly likely that ‘laundry in a line’ will be listed specifically as ‘autumn’ in the larger saijiki thanks to a pretty well known poem by Seiai Abe:

    妻のいふとうりに雁の竿がくる

    the geese arrive
    as my wife would say
    like a laundry pole in the sky

    So whilst it may be objected that there is no primarily evident kigo in my verse that is purely because Frau Greve has not included it in her collection yet as ‘autumn’. Meeowwlll! In truth new and narrowly defined kigo tend to be taken from hokku/haiku only.

    Joseph – your go. The fact that I’ve been a bit lax with seasonality means that you’ll probably be most effective (in ‘whole-poem’ terms) if you are more direct. The last verse ‘ageku’ tends to be written so that it is capable of a reading as a kind of summary, comment, or parting augury – but just see how it comes.

    I’ll try and pick up a couple of loose strands in another post shortly.

    Best wishes, John

  186. lorin says:

    Great reasoned analysis re the three offered ku, John. I understand, now, and see that you’ve made the right choice.

    While I like this,

    the geese arrive
    as my wife would say
    like a laundry pole in the sky

    Seiai Abe

    and ‘get it’ in the context of your post, it would befuddle me if I’d come across it in a renku without your comments.

    ..and “the cheap end of town with all the washing strung out”

    🙂 looks like all of Australia fits the ‘cheap end of town’ category! Land of the Hill’s Hoist! [year round, unless it’s raining. The electric clothes dryer is just a back-up] Though I’ve heard that in the US, there are places where the hanging out of washing is *banned*! o, brave new world! Real classy, eco-friendly neighbourhoods, those, doncha know.

    • ashleycapes says:

      disturbing ban there, though – perhaps it’s to prevent ‘snow-droppers’? – not sure if that term translates very well – think Pink Floyd’s Arnold Layne!

      • lorin says:

        No, Ashley, unfortunately no such reasonable thing. It’s in many of these ‘shared communities’, [not all ‘gated’ either] Hanging out the washing is banned by body corporate for the simple reason that it ‘brings down the tone’! Different world. But maybe this will change, Al Gore and all?

  187. John Carley says:

    Hi all, below I’ll try to pick up a little on the technique strands but firstly appologies to Barbara for not citing her in the choice of verse #11. And yeah, I had that Tangerine Dream album too, though in my case it was ‘window panes’ – little gel squares impregnated with organic LSD.

    A while back Ashley picked up on my comment about the perception in some Japanese renku circles that link and shift might be so culturally specific as to make the genre non-viable in other cultures. A core part of this argument revolves around the way that associations and sensibilities tend to acrete in Japanese cultural iconography: if you know ‘bellflower’ you automatically get ‘frog’ etc. (have a look at the aesthetic principle of “hon’i”). So, the argument goes, haikai linkage relies on this immensely subtle web of mutually held association. Other cultures don’t to this. So they can’t do renku.

    I have my own opinions about this line of reasoning. And they aren’t flattering. But the argument has a corollary in the matter of ‘shift’, and it is one which needs to be addressed. The core generative mechanism of renku is that which operates within any given trio of verses: link to the preceding, shift from the one before that. Beyond that the turnover of fresh material is governed by sarikirai – the idea of ‘mimimum seperation’… but mimum seperation of what?

    The answer is – minimum seperation of things which belong to the same category. And the precise number of verses we have to wait depends on the ‘primacy’ of the category. Really prime things have to have greater seperation.

    So, in order to have a full appreciation of ‘shift’ (the argument goes) you have to have a shared cultural appreciation of what belongs in which category, and of the relative primacy of any given category. If ever you’ve had the misfortune to witness a ‘renga master’ tell a participant that they can’t have ‘moth’ as their candidate for verse #32 because we’ve had ‘mansion’ at position #15, and both have ‘wings’ – you’ll know that our concerned theorists have a point. A really good one.

    There’s a brilliant section on classical theories of both link and shift in my mate Herbert Jonsson’s ‘Haikai Poetics: Buson, Kitō and the Interpretation of Renku Poetry’. Herbert is Swedish but it’s in English. And you can save $100US and more by going here to download it:
    http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:189883
    All legit. Herbert reproduces one of the ready-reference tables of categories that many people used (and still use) when composing haikai-no-renga (renku).

    These arguments about cultural specificity are *absolutely* central to the prospects for genuine art in English-language haikai (or indeed for any haikai in any language other than Japanese). And our other main strand is directly related: kigo, and the general question of seasonality.

    Honest to God I kicked myself when I first posted here assuming that most people were North American. I mean, I could tell you weren’t English, and therefore likely to be ruffians, but Hoi is not quite the same as Poloi!

    Seriously – we *have* to be able to refer to our own experience, our deep level cultural referants, how the **** can this be art otherwise? Anybody who has a problem with ‘Christmas barbecue’ can safely be ignored. And an editor who can’t run to a footnote in order to clarify the occassional seeming anomaly, or rejects a work for fear of one such, is editing something fit only for the nail on the dunny door.

    There’s a parallel here folks. The reason why Basho and his buddies sold so many books was because they successfully meshed entirely seperate worlds of experience – those of the highest and lowest classes of early modern Japanese society. The differences between our frames of reference might be otherwise in scope, but they are hardly greater in degree.

    Gabi by the way is talking knadgers (and nobbly ones at that) if she’s giving the impression that Japanese seasonal reference isn’t sometimes arrived at by the simple ruse of naming the season or the month. Well OK, the month is not so common, but there are zillions of compounds that name the season ‘summer-haze’, ‘winter-shower’, ‘spring-grass’ etc etc.

    I fully agree that where participants are from different hemispheres it is unhelpful to use month names as kigo markers, this also goes for festivals which have their origin on one hemisphere but are now universal. (Hey, when do antipodean Christians celebrate Easter… at the beginning of autumn?????)

    My friend and colleague Norman Darlington has encouraged some worthwhile discussions on all aspects of seasonality in renku. There is in existence at least one Triparshva written in India to a schema which formally adopts the six season that are locally identified.

    This is the future. Pretending we were all born in Kyoto is… so damned odd as to be deeply unfortunate.

    Best wishes, John

  188. ashleycapes says:

    THanks, John – this is great read. I’ll check out that link too.

    I do like the clothesline link, and I’ve been swayed by the general consensus, but I still enjoy the contrast between ‘riot’ and ‘seep’.

    Looking forward to Joseph’s closer!

  189. lorin says:

    “There’s a parallel here folks. The reason why Basho and his buddies sold so many books was because they successfully meshed entirely seperate worlds of experience – those of the highest and lowest classes of early modern Japanese society. The differences between our frames of reference might be otherwise in scope, but they are hardly greater in degree.” John

    Yay! 🙂

    …and this strikes me as hilarious:

    “…that they can’t have ‘moth’ as their candidate for verse #32 because we’ve had ‘mansion’ at position #15, and both have ‘wings’ ”

    🙂

    Wonderful education you’re giving us, John. Much appreciated! You give us the background and an idea of the current state of play. There is so much to it!

    That wasn’t Gabi who said anything about the names of months…that was just me, pushing the barrow, in discussion with some Americans and Canadians. Really, sometimes it seems there are still subscribers to the ‘flat earth’ theory…. but not all, thank goodness. ‘winter whatever’ is fine, I think, but not ‘December = winter’ [though December for Christmas] any more than ‘June = winter’. And what’s an ‘August breeze’? Welcome coolness, I imagine, in the NH, but to me a bit too nippy to stay out in for long.

    yes, Australian, New Zealand, South American etc. churches celebrate Easter and every other Christian observance by the Church calendar, the same as they do the world around. Same date, whether it’s Scotland or El Salvador. And we do have the Easter Bunny delivering chocolate eggs in early Autumn, though it is a bit odd, isn’t it?

  190. lorin says:

    I suppose what it comes down to, in relation to English-language haiku , perhaps haikai-no-renga/renku, too, is that we’ve got a feeling for something attractive about this Japanese haikai genre and are trying to find, not only what it is, but how to render it, not only in a different language, but from different cultures, without losing its spirit [which is tied to the conventions of Japanese language and culture] and without losing those cultures [plural] we can claim as our own.

    I believe writers need the local, the experienced.

    Kigo. Well, because of its particular history, the Japanese could ‘agree’ that the ‘timing’ of nature-based kigo would be Kyoto-based, and then Tokyo-based, arguing from literary precedent. But English-language haiku is being written from many different countries and cultures. Is the capital of English-language haiku, in the 21st century, Kyoto or Tokyo? Somewhere in the more Northern states of the USA? [not Hawaii, though, or even Florida] Or some fictional, tv or media-created ‘main street’ somewhere in the Northern hemisphere? Who gets to declare where it is?

    How to creatively balance convention and reality? How to value and retain the local, and its spirit, the world-wide varieties of ‘local’, without becoming the metaphorical equivalent of a bunch of exclusive ‘gated communities’, each with their own saijiki? Yet at the same time, avoid the trap of drifting into an enchanting ‘fairie world’, like knights of old in Keatsian poems, or as John Bird calls it, ‘haikuland — a construct of old poems’.

    Forgive the rant and speculations. We do seem to have avoided these traps in this renku, thanks to John’s guidance. No sign of the old ‘divided by a common language’ here, either.

    “Basho and his buddies…successfully meshed entirely separate worlds of experience. The differences between our frames of reference might be otherwise in scope, but they are hardly greater in degree.” John

    🙂 I take heart.

  191. Joseph says:

    Look for my submissions later tonight and tomorrow morning. I love John’s line “…pretending all of usare born in Kyoto…” Made me laugh aloud!

    So, “ageku”– maybe a presage of what is to come as well as a summation as to what has come before? I am readuing the entire junicho again now. (I am at work.)

  192. John Carley says:

    Hi Joseph – yes, it can be an augury as well as/instead of a summation. BUT it doesn’t *have* to be either.

    Lorin – I think the ‘Old Japanists’ have a some good arguments on their side. Firstly the mythical Kyoto – John’s ‘HaikuLand’ – did exists as a kind of shared construct in the minds of Japanese poets from the medieval through to the early modern period and beyond. Otherwise stuff like agreed kigo could not have emerged in an archipeligo that has a strikingly wide climactic range. And I do think that many (the majority?) of non-Japanese have failed to appreciated the degree to which associative accretion allows deep level encoding in such very short stanza forms. Concepts suchs as ‘hon’i’, ‘haigon’ and ‘haimakura’ are too little discussed as is the way in which toriawase is a kind of taoist flexing of the aggregation and disaggregation of norms. I can see why a Japanese theorist, looking at occidental attempts at haikai, might conclude that ‘they just don’t get it’ – and speculate that it simply might not be gettable.

    The English used to think in exactly the same way about cricket. There is still the odd attack of appoplexy whent the Australians beat us (again). And as for the damned Indians…!!!

    Best wishes, John

  193. Barbara A Taylor says:

    g’day all

    Joseph said “I love John’s line “…pretending all of usare born in Kyoto…” Made me laugh aloud!”

    me too:)

    at the weekend
    my extra curiculum
    chopstick workshop

    peace and love

  194. lorin says:

    ” And I do think that many (the majority?) of non-Japanese have failed to appreciated the degree to which associative accretion allows deep level encoding in such very short stanza forms.”

    But we’re trying, John : -) [o, I don’t mean in the sense my mother meant when she said, ‘You are a very trying child’ ] We just need editors etc who can recognise when we do tap into what Shirane called the ‘vertical axis’.

    I can post this here because it’s published on the www, though only through a NSW local haiku group:

    shed snakeskin
    holes
    that were its eyes

    Nathalie Buckland [NSW, Australia]

    well, I was so pleased I wrote to her about it. Of course I’ve seen lots of shed snake skins, we have many snakes, most of them poisonous. It’s a bit spooky to come across those skins, but the image is absolutely natural and ordinary… pure ‘shasei’, as some like to say… but its resonance depends on ‘associative accretion’ in English. The question of death, the question of transformation. Nathalie was worried that nobody would get it! We do have a literary history, and it precedes Australian history.

    [‘those are pearls that were his eyes’ ]

    A ramble, maybe, a side note… something to do whilst checking in to see how the renku’s progressing.

  195. Joseph says:

    Okay….I’ve beent hinking a lot. perhaps too much. So here are my submissions for our ageku: oops, where did I put them?

    Oh no, customere here in the bookstore! I’ve got to return to earning some dosh right now.

  196. Joseph says:

    pondwater cascades
    through her outspread fingers

    the geese returned
    from their foray south

    a midnight swim
    leaves more than the pond disturbed

    or:

    a midnight swim
    disturbs more than the pond

    a drunken kiss amuses
    the Hungry Ghost Moon

    (I like the idea of “hungry ghosts”!)

    drunken by the sea, a kiss
    leads to a midnight swim

  197. g’day Joseph

    We’ve already had pond before and we’ve already had birds before, so of these I favour

    a drunken kiss amuses
    the Hungry Ghost Moon

    because I am always worrying about repetition I therefore
    see sea, pond, water, swim, even washing are all very much related. We started the poem with Moon. Perhaps this was the arc you were looking for.

    And after others have commented I’d like you to explain the link to the previous verse, please.

    Peace and Love

  198. lorin says:

    o, my comment disappeared!

    Anyway, yes, Joseph, I agree with Barbara…I’d be leaving moons, birds and ponds out of it.

  199. lorin says:

    … borrowing from the *other* Willie:

    contrails
    … the rest is silence

  200. John Carley says:

    Hi Joseph, I think you have all the makings of an entirely successful ageku that just needs a slight twist – or rather, a bit of slippage…

    We really shouldn’t, as Barbara and Lorin observe, return directly to birds and ponds. And that also goes for a direct reference to the moon, in a Junicho.

    This is a complex area because in longer sequences, certainly in the case of the Kasen, the ageku has been considered exempt from the majority of the ‘prohibitions’ that condidtion the content all verses other than the hokku. So you will find in the source literature the occassional ageku that even directly repeats a principal element of the hokku (such as, in our case, using the word ‘moon’).

    But I instinctively feel that the reading experience of a Junicho, at only twelve verses, gives insufficient distance between hokku and ageku for such direct repetitions to feel like anything other than a simple loop.

    ‘Drunken kiss’ is inspirational (both univeral and typically Edo) as is the idea of using a Chinese festival as an anology to the ‘renku party’ (a phrase often used in Japanese). Such ‘party’ references are often made in the hokku or wakiku and the fact that we haven’t done so makes it all the more suitable that we do so in the ageku, but I don’t think we can get away with the seventh month. We’ve already blurred our seasonality towards the close of this poem and I think using such a summer/autumn cusp reference here is rather risky – there’s a real danger our readers will just identify ‘a mistake’.

    What I’d like to suggest is the we move to the eight lunar month – specifically to the fifteenth of the eight, which is of course the classic ‘harvest’ analogue and features, amongst other things ‘moon cakes’. This naturally gives us the opportunity to offer ‘party’ imagery to readers who won’t pick up directly on the reference. And the once-removed reference to ‘moon’ is the ideal balance of homage to the hokku without actually leading us there by the hand.

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day
    (w)

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee
    (je)

    a drunken kiss
    [one two three four five] cake

    For instance, where 1,2,3,4,5 are syllables. The versions running through my head use parataxis – a syntax break at end of line one.

    Barbara queries the ‘hungry ghost’ link – which I took to be based around ideas of ‘wandering’ and ‘transmigration of the soul’. But in fact the ageku is often very much an instance of ‘soku’ – ‘loose linkage’ – not least because it needs room to discharge its performative functions. In our poem the temporal synchrony of two strong autumn kidai (season topics) added to the kind of ‘status link’ of our washing line and popular festival is certainly sufficient as long as we get the phonics right (my hobby horse again!).

    Come on team – lets work with Joseph to unhumdrum this last conundrum! J

    ps – my dsylexia is giving me hell. Sorry if I’m putting in a lot of substitutions: ‘than’ for ‘the, ‘are’ for ‘or’ etc – I just can’t see them.

  201. lorin says:

    a drunken kiss
    [one two three four five] cake

    hmmm… dunno if this will help, Joseph, but it’s where it led me, sticky bean paste being what those ‘moon cakes’ are usually filled with here.

    a drunken kiss
    his nose full of bean cake

    [my warped sense of humour, probably… off-scent 🙂 ]

  202. lorin says:

    o… repeating ‘his’…

    a drunken kiss –
    moustache stiff with bean cake

    😉 what a turn-off!

  203. Sandra says:

    Hello all,

    Just been reading through the discussion and couldn’t resist adding my halfpenny’s [ha’pny] worth re the shearing, since Lorin called down the Kiwis :)!
    I grew up on a sheep farm and although we are a long country (in terms of climate), shearing here would generally be considered a summer word, altho’ you’re right there is the “second-shear” which takes place late autumn/winter. However, many farmers now no longer do this for the welfare of the animals and …. the price of wool has been so low for so long.
    And in case anyone is wondering, NZ shearers use wider combs (in the cutting blades) so supposedly are faster, fewer “blows” being needed to complete each sheep – something that has caused problems when they work in Australia.

    I’m enjoying the discussion here, very enlightening in all sorts of ways. Nice verse too.

    Best,
    Sandra

  204. Claire says:

    Don’t know at all what the ageku is, however, just taking part, if you don’t mind -)

    amazed the diving frog
    — brook’s sudden giggle

    swallowing all deads’ souls
    Dracula climbs up mountains

    ps : would be really interested to know what moon cakes ans bean paste are ! Make me think to Dali (the moustache !)
    Please, tell-me, if unauthorized to come on the Junicho page !

    • ashleycapes says:

      Not at all Claire, we’re open to comments and responses to the Junicho here. (like the ‘giggle’ there. And I thought of Dali too!)

      The ageku is the last link in the 12 steps of the Junicho form of renku and we’re just discussing and throwing up options for Joseph’s last post before the whole renku is complete.

      How about…something like

      a drunken kiss
      beneath the wedding cake

      perhaps a little random or off-centre for an ageku though, doesn’t sum anything up at all, now that I look at it!

  205. g’day all

    a drunken kiss
    the icing on the cake

    peace and love

  206. John Carley says:

    Hi all, if you’re not familiar with the reference please run a search string on something like ‘fifteenth of the eighth’ or ‘chinese autumn festival’ or ‘china + autumn moon festival’. You’ll find Joseph’s initial reference by searching ‘hungry ghost + festival’ or suchlike

    There are lots of routes to go down in terms of symbolism other than moon cakes: Pomelo rinds, sky lanterns, dragon dances…

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day
    (w)

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee
    (je)

    a drunken kiss,
    a lantern in the sky

    Best wishes, John

  207. John Carley says:

    Hi to Claire and Sandra, thanks for your interest and comments. Sandra – ageku is the name for the closing verse of a renku sequence. In the case of a Junicho it is the twelfth verse.

    The word ‘ageku’ can be rendered as ‘the closing phrase, at last!’,

    In the case of our poem we’re picking up on Joseph’s exploration of imagery drawn from South East Asian autumn festivals.

    Best wishes, John

  208. John Carley says:

    Joseph – are you there fella: we need to hear from you. And Willie, Ashley…

    Best wishes, John

  209. Joseph says:

    Whew! Sorry to be absent….beena long weekend of riding bikes and listeninig to great music at a small festival in Massachusetts. I love the discussion of the final lijne of my ageku!

    As John figured, I chose “Hungry Ghost Moon” for its seasonal reference as well as for the idea of hungry spirits outside of our control. Lorin, you and John and Barbara all offer wonderful solutions to the lagging last line. I really like the summation of “icing on the cake” and the simplicity of “lantern in the sky.” Also, your playfulness with the bean paste!

    So here are some of my suggestions with image and closure in my mind:

    a drunken kiss –
    the sky turns once

    a drunken kiss –
    tomorrow another day

    a drunken kiss –
    succeeding where words fail

    a drunken kiss –
    two lips and a wish

    a drunken kiss –
    lovers beckoned by dawn

    a drunken kiss –
    opens a whole new book

  210. ashleycapes says:

    How about…something like

    a drunken kiss
    beneath the wedding cake

    perhaps a little random or off-centre for an ageku though, and it doesn’t sum anything up at all, now that I look at it!

    BUT

    My favourites of the those above would be ‘the sky turns once’ and also ‘lantern in the sky’ both are fantastic and delicate

  211. John Carley says:

    Thanks Joseph – lots of new directions. We do need to be unequivocal about season though.

    In an earlier strand we discussed whether or not to name a season was just plain lazy, my input being that Japanese saijiki have countless instances of the season being named. What I didn’t go on to remark is that these are always instances where the season name is a prefix or suffix which, with the other core element, make a kind of commonly recognised compound noun.

    So how about:

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day
    (w)

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee
    (je)

    a drunken kiss,
    the autumn skies revolve
    (j)

    Comments please.

    Best wishes, John

  212. lorin says:

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee

    (je)a drunken kiss,
    the autumn skies revolve
    (j)

    a drunken kiss,
    a lantern in the sky (j)

    “We do need to be unequivocal about season though. ” John

    Perhaps head South, then, to Australia and New Zealand, for an Autumn gathering? …as suggested by that vee on the line [Arctic Terns from Britain come to Melbourne, anyway, in their normal annual migrations] and find all the old Diggers mid-Autumn, on April 25th, pinned with their medals, celebrating in the usual way with more than a few beers in the wake of the Dawn Service?

    a drunken kiss
    the ANZAC flag [ da dum ]

    hoist high/ half mast/ soaked through/ flying/ whatever

    well, it has the Southern Cross on it, in both the Aust. and NZ versions, so the sky gets in, in a way. And after that shearer’s strike ku, it might be as well to imply the other side of the traditional Oz/Kiwi relationship 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day

    …my 5 cents worth

  213. lorin says:

    ps I think Willie might’ve lost his internet connection for the present. It was threatening to happen, last I heard from him.

  214. Willie says:

    Down but not out, Lorin!
    I was homeless up until Friday-an interesting week gone by. On a borrowed service at this moment.
    Autumn…
    I remember Octoberfest, here in a nearby college town with thirty bars nestled next to a glacially formed river.
    The whole town had gone mad.
    My wife and I (we were just young lovers then, not yet married) stood in the moonlight next to the St. Croix quietly rippling past, the hardwoods ablaze with color along that slippery bank as the muffled noise of the chaos in town floated over us and blended with the gurgling stream.
    We held each other close, swaying a little from the effects of the beer and the world spinning on its axis, warming each other against the returning chill.

    Hmmm, the autumn skies revolve, aye?

  215. ashleycapes says:

    I like it, John – I put my vote in, such as it is!

  216. Claire says:

    Hello, five am here in France, clear sky,

    a drunken kiss
    Anzac flag flat on his pole

    What I’m saying here may be out of what history was. In fact, I’m really surprised to read in Wiki that the Anzac forces had fight for Istanbul againt Ataturk. It’s part of the last high school year’s programm, but there were so much to learn in the Somme battles (where earth has been so much burnt at places that nothing grows there anymore) that Gallipolli and Stamboul are far away from my mind. Sorry. Just want to tell you there are many commemorations throughout the year on the Somme’s battle places with Aussies é New-Zealanders.

  217. Claire says:

    Soory again… fought and not fight !!

  218. g’day all

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee
    (je)

    (je)a drunken kiss,
    the autumn skies revolve

    or maybe:

    a drunken kiss,
    lanterns drift in autumn skies

    But John, we have already used season as descriptor earlier. It seems weak to use it yet again in a twelve verse poem.

    Peace and Love

    • John Carley says:

      Damn, you’re right of course Barbara – I was so busy concentrating on the current working trio of verses I didn’t track back.

      Hmmmn, this final image is harder to settle than the rest of the poem!

      Best wishes, John

  219. lorin says:

    yes, good point, Barbara.

    A beautiful romantic story there, Willie.

    a drunken kiss
    the maple leaves ablaze

    ?

  220. lorin says:

    …borrowing ‘ablaze’ from Willie’s story, that is.

  221. lorin says:

    Claire 😉 …you have me laughing…’Anzac flag flat on his pole ‘
    … very graphic ! Brewer’s droop?

  222. John Carley says:

    Hi team, thanks to the lyrical romanticism of Joseph’s second swathe of candidates and the contemporaneous strand on the Southern Cross I think I might have a synthesis that offers us closure:

    pimps, hustlers
    new arrivals each day
    (w)

    lines of washing
    pinned and pegged
    in a perfect vee
    (je)

    a drunken kiss
    beneath a sea of stars
    (j)

    Or

    a drunken kiss
    beneath the sea of stars
    (j)

    This picks up the subliminal migration of geese in the maeku not just because of the literal ‘sky’ but because in the source literature ‘geese migrating over inland sea’ is a classical autumn topic. Further the phrase ‘sea of stars’ is an analogue of ‘river of heaven’ ( 天の川 amanogowa) which is another classical autumn ‘kidai’ (seasonal topic).

    I learn that Crux, the Southern Cross, is ‘Te Punga’ (the anchor) in Maori and it stops the ‘canoe of stars’ (the milky way) from drifting off to nothingness.

    The lyrical and felicitous tone is, as Joseph has shown us, ideally suited to our closing mood, whilst the reference to the heavens completes not a direct loop back to the moon in the hokku but a kind of spiral – we retrun to a similar point, but in a different plane.

    Joseph – can your name appear against this verse in our published text?

    Comments please.

    Best wishes, John

  223. ashleycapes says:

    I like it! – And I lean toward the ‘a sea’ version rather than ‘the sea’ perhaps?

  224. g’day all

    a drunken kiss
    beneath the sea of stars (j)

    John, how about, to avoid using a yet again, perhaps

    a drunken kiss
    beneath our sea of stars

    peace and love

  225. lorin says:

    o, beautifully synthesized, John! 🙂

    I prefer the def. art. version

    a drunken kiss
    beneath the sea of stars
    (j)

    I don’t really see a problem with using the indef. art. again, but if there is a bit of a catch, it being directly below ‘a perfect vee’, perhaps L1 could be plural ? That’d leave it open as to choice of article in L2:

    drunken kisses
    beneath/under the/a sea of stars

  226. Claire says:

    Hi all !

    Well, Lorin ! know nothing about brewers’ manners !

    Just add (as the flag can’t be flat)

    a drunken kiss
    Heavens and nirvana

    “a” sea of stars makes me think to the sky whereas “the” (…)… to the flag,

    Well ! Haven’t read the Junicho, I don’t know what the story was about – Sorry !

  227. John Carley says:

    Hi all, thanks for the comments so far.

    Claire – in renku the story changes each time a verse is added. Some critics describe this as a ‘process of continual recontextualisation’.

    Best wishes, John

  228. Willie says:

    Hey ya’ll!
    A moment then off to work.
    I’m a bit brain addled at this juncture-
    I like Lorin’s plural “kisses” though I’m missing the season reference-don’t wish to step on Joseph’s toes, either.
    I put up my little story hoping to unconsciously cull a reference, or better yet, one of the team would see where I cannot.
    A thought bouncing in the back of head regarding comparing stars to a river, but with an autumn reference?
    Sorry, but I’m blocked, otherwise.

    • Sandra says:

      Hope all is going well for you Willie, and that things are picking up. Your reference to being homeless has had me worried …

  229. willie says:

    It’s just the interesting times we live in, Sandra. That and I’m too pig-headed to abandon my craft.

    But more importantly, we’ve got a renku to finish!
    Let’s get this show on the road…!

    Whatcha thinkin’, Joseph?

  230. Claire says:

    Thank you, John, to try being of help… I’m really pig-headed, too – so, have another try…

    a drunken kiss
    autumn leaves drifting with stars

  231. John Carley says:

    Hi Claire, thanks for the interest – pig headed, mule headed, hydra headed… not a problem. Renku is inclusive!

    Here though we are just waiting for Joseph’s comments on the strand of this final verse so that we can finish this sequence.

    If there is sufficient interest we can always attempt a further sequence shortly, either of the Junicho style, or something slightly different.

    All comers would be welcome.

    As Willie says above: Whatcha thinkin’, Joseph?

    Best wishes, John

  232. Claire says:

    So, Joseph, “whatcha thinkin, deciding ?’ “It’s all inclusive”, says John – the roundabout is short of breath !! Go on !

  233. lorin says:

    “If there is sufficient interest we can always attempt a further sequence shortly, either of the Junicho style, or something slightly different.” John

    🙂 I’d say there would be definitely sufficient interest, John. I’d be interested, for sure.

    C’mon Joseph…where are you? Hope you haven’t fallen off yr bike!

  234. aldia says:

    No worries, he has not fallen off his bike! I had a brief sighting of him yesterday on my way back from vacation! 🙂

  235. g’day John

    “If there is sufficient interest we can always attempt a further sequence shortly, either of the Junicho style, or something slightly different.” John

    Like Lorin, I too, would love to participate in another renku.

    Peace and Love

  236. ashleycapes says:

    Me too, John! I think we’d all love it if you could lead us again, whatever the form may be

    (However, I would personally step aside as I’d love to give another Snailer a spot in the process 🙂 )

    Good to hear that Joseph and Willie are ok – sounds rough, Willie, hope things improve

  237. Sandra says:

    Thanks, Ashley. I would certainly like to try the process once, having “watched on” and learned much.

  238. John Carley says:

    Hi all, thanks for the interest. We’ll organise another poem just as soon as we get this last phrase bottomed.

    It might be a good idea to attempt a poem with formal movement divisions. The Shisan is intriguing, but technically quite a challenge as it is so compact.

    The standard short form with folio divisions until recently was Meiga Higashi’s ‘Nijuin’ – four movements over twenty verses. But I am a really big fan of the ‘Triparshva’ – three movements over 22 verses. The Triparshva was originated about five years back by the Irish poet Norman Darlington. It is, in my opinion, the first serious renku pattern to emerge from the growing international interest in renku.

    Best wishes, John

    • Joseph Mueller says:

      And John, the idea of the “Triparshva” appeals to me. Three movements? I am very interested!

      BTW….you’ve been doing a fantastic job with our renku. Thank you sensei!

  239. Claire says:

    Hello John and all of you !

    If you don’t mind, always there to post a ku!
    Be sure I had never heard of… those different sorts of renku… Even on “Tempslibres”, although good.

  240. Joseph Mueller says:

    Oh, so sorry to disappear like that at the end of our renku. I am often not home, but selling books during the day, rehearsing for Arsenic and Old Lace in the evening, and trying to grab a ride between laundry and college prep (as a teacher). So, my apologies to this brilliant renku group. I feel a bit intimidated!

    As for the ageku: John, I like your suggestion re: a sea of stars.” However, I disagree with Lorin (hi, Lorin!), preferring the def. art. “our”. Maybe it’s the affected Romantic in me, but I want the universe to seem…ownable?…in love.

    But I also believe we could still incorporate the idea of “revolve” or “revolution” as both a descriptor and an indicator of where this renku has led us: where the seasons lead us.

    a drunken kiss
    chooses her direction

    a drunken kiss
    turns two to one

    a drunken kiss (because I DO love this line!)
    footloose among the stars

    Just trying to keeep the playfulness equal to the serious quality (who says play isn’t serious?) of our poetics.
    But yes, John, please use my name in the published text.

    I am recently back from rehearsal and painting sets. Just tired all of the time. Willie, you could sack out in some of the sets we’re building! Honestly, though, I hope you’re doing all right. If in Vermont…..

    I hope you all are well and safe and happy and maybe hoisting a chilled mug to our renku. I am trying to scrape the paint off my fingernails.

    (But I will be online tomorrow!)

    Joe

  241. g’day Joseph

    What a busy life!

    Thanks all, for this renku party, it was fun.

    Here’s a link to a triparshva I’ve recently published.

    a triparshva, “Fiddling With Their Blarney”, with Moira Richards (ZA), on The Blue Fifth Review, Spring/Summer 2009

    I would love to contribute to do another. Thank you John.
    Looking forward to a new start.

    Peace and Love

  242. ashley says:

    Hi everyone, I’m going to be away for a couple of days so I’ll squeeze in a vote now and be off!

    I think Joe’s 3rd revision is my fav – but I still like the ‘lantern’ & ‘sea of stars’ versions too

  243. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi team, I’ve just spent the last God knows how long composing a huge debrief for our poem and the damned thing has disappeared due to a faulty network connection at the pub (I’m currently pirating through someone random in the street!|).

    So – I’ll recompile the damn thing tomorrow (mercifully abbreviated). But I did manage to update the Current Renku – Junicho page with the final text of the poem.

    Very many thanks Joseph for your forebearance as I’ve led the assault on the ageku. That was in fact the lead in for my now vanished sounding off exercise (anyone who is really bored might want to run a serch on ‘tomegaki’).

    Gotta go – it’s 11 and I’m not even drunk yet.

    Yrs revolving if not drunkenly kissing, John

  244. g’day John

    my comiserations, those computer breakdowns drive me bananas! We really appreciate your comments. Take your time, and have a calming drink.

    Peace and Love

  245. lorin says:

    Great to return and see that everything has worked out, and this renku is finished! Looks good! 😉

    well, I’m in the process of getting broadband for the first time. Glad, after yr ‘pirate’ comment, John, that I chose not to go ‘naked’.

    Looking forward to see what happens next!

    cheers,

    lorin

  246. Joseph says:

    Wish I were at the pub with you, John! (But I might not forbear!) Does anyone know where to find seasonal references for renku compiled? Any suggestions?

    No pints for me tonight: eight hours at the bookstore and then three rehearsing. Sleeep.

  247. Claire says:

    Hello and good morning (7 o’clock am)
    John, the best drink (in spring is spring water in the forest ! Fresh…

    To Joe, Laurent Mabesoone’s saijiki (in several languages, I think –

    Please, if you don’t mind telling me, which authors and books are best selling (but, not especially bestsellers) right now in the US ?

    And, well, I’m wondering about Triparchva, it seems to be an Indian nme or word (“tri”, in French is equal to “three” ?

    Well, I have to read this Junicho entirely !

  248. Joseph says:

    I agree with Lorin, this junicho looks (and reads!) nicely. I really like it!

  249. willie says:

    Hey ya’ll,

    Love the way our (if I may be so bold) junicho reads.
    Lovely, lovely… Such a pleasure to write with you all. You all have taught me so much.
    I’d love to be involved again, though I should allow others to work with John first. I shall resume my prone position in the weed patch.
    I should make a call to some other poets to join our US group for a virtual ginko stroll and writing event this September in an exchange with the Hailstone group in Japan. Please contact me for more info. We’re a bit short handed. williamsorlien@yahoo.com
    I’ll check back in later. I’m looking forward to reading your final comments, John.

  250. John Carley says:

    Hi all, Joseph asks for season word references. The most effective is in my opinion that of the late William J Higginson and Kris Kondo’s translation of the Five Hundred Essential Season Words collected by Kenkichi Yamamoto. It is here

    http://renku.home.att.net/500ESWd.html

    Strictly speaking this is a Kiyose – a season word list. Another such is here

    http://etext.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/saijiki/brief.html

    The difference between a Kiyose and Saijiki is nicely illustrated by the following pages which have a few season topics treated in full, with exemplars

    http://etext.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/saijiki/full.html

    We have had some fruitful discussions on the subject of season words (kigo) and season topics (kidai). It is my personal opinion that the only persons who should rely principally on such Kiyose and Saijiki are those who are of, or very familiar with, the Japanese language and culture.

    Clearly anyone who has read the source literature extensively will pick up on key elements of Japanese cultural iconography (in respect of our closing pair you might care to look at ‘milky way’ and ‘migrating birds’ in the ‘autumn section of the ‘full’ Saijiki link above). But I have an abiding fear of mimicry, stereotyping, and cultural appropriation. Put more positively: it is imperative that, if renku is to become a world literature, it must embrace world cultures. I have had the very fortunate experience of composing inter-cultural and inter-lingual renku with am extremely heterodox assortment of people. I have yet to encounter a difference that the radically integrative motor of renku has been unable to subsume.

    Best wishes, John

  251. John Carley says:

    Hi everyone, I’m posting from the pub again and my earlier comment on season words has come up as ‘awaiting moderation’ so sorry if there’s a further delay before this appears on screen.

    In contemporary formal Japanese renku circles it is customary, on the completion of a poem, for the sabiki to post a ‘tomegaki’. This word has the same root as that for ‘clasp’ and is a kind of debrief that draws some important strands of the compositional discourse together. The participants will also post a ‘kanso’. This word means something like ‘appreciation’, though it is not absolutely de rigeur to be unfailingly flattering. I’ll return to this in a minute. Anyway, this post is a kind of cross between a tomegaki, a ramble and a good old fashioned rant.

    Kanso – the word is redolent of status relationships. I lead. You are thankful. When we read a Shomon (Basho school) sequence it is well to remember that the text is far from verbatim – it is not that which was recorded during the renku party itself. In most instances the Sosho (Master) and/or a designated disciple undertook a comprehensive revision up to and including the complete substitution of entire passages of verse – though the names of the contributors of the original texts were appended to the verse positions, even where not a single word/character remained of the original verse. There are recorded instances of participant’s complaining about this. But very few.

    Conversely, as the basic idea of Japanese linked verse became current in English-language circles during the latter part of the last century there are countless examples of sequences written where a pair or handful of poets simply took it in turns to append their ‘best shot’ to the preceding verse, no questions asked, and *certainly* no prospect of anyone being so rude as to suggest that a minor amendment here or there might be beneficial.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m no paragon. The first time I witnessed a Japanese sabaiki in action I was dumb struck. No, I was outraged. How ***** dare she take someone’s work and shred it!!!!! That’s right… she was a *she*… even worse! So I am immensely grateful to you all for the forbearance, kindness and trust you have afforded me as I’ve got you to gang up on each other and messed about with your material in order to chase my personal unicorn.

    What I’m fumbling at here is that renku is a form of literature that has arisen in a millieu that is more collaborative, and deferential/directive than is typical of the English-language literary context – at least as English-language literature is practiced according to the norms derived from European culture (Dr Dre’s crew of rapper/poets look far more like a renku party to me). So, we’ve got to find a middle way between the hierarchical methods of the early modern Japanese period and the anything-goes individualism of the American Haiku.

    Which sounds challenging. But it is strange that it should. As an erstwhile musician, production assistant and sound engineer I know that the songwriter/performer/producer role is entirely normal. As is the role of actor/director in film. Or lead dancer/choreographer on the stage. What we need is more sabakis. We need to arrive at a position where for poem A you lead and I follow. Then for poem B the roles are reversed.

    Linkage and emotional tenor – I’m delighted that people have remarked on how nicely the sequence reads. In part I believe this is down to our attention to the ‘poetics of utterance’ – the cadences, the sounds of the words, the pauses and alliterations etc (what Ezra Pound called ‘euphony’). This stuff is a kind of phonic glue that allows the mind to accept semantic gyrations that it might otherwise dismiss as so loosely associated as to be ‘noise’. And in respect of the semantic content I think we’ve done well to layer a lot of our linkage – often we’ve given a primary or ‘obvious’ strand for the reader to access whilst coding deeper levels of relation. It is my belief that these buried strands echo in the mind at an unconscious level and give great pleasure. But as Basho was keen to point out – the new poetics go above and beyond anything to do with meaning (cf. imizuke) or even core association (cf. kokorozuke). Basho was interested in the vibe, the emanation, the scent (cf. nioizuke). [we now approach the alleged point of this rantagaki] We know that Basho proposed ‘scent linkage’ . And we also need to remember that in fact he used a lot of much simpler primary level linkage too. But what is less remarked on is the consequence of effectively realised scent linkage over a passage of verse.

    We know that in renku the obligation to shift from the content of the verse-before-last is the only absolute rule. And we know that this means that anything resembling a theme or subject or narrative can only exist between an adjoining pair of verses. But, if we succeed in evoking a tangible emotional tenor in and between verses we can allow this to persist and modify gradually during the course of an entire passage of verse. Think a good sax solo: we cannot predict the next note or phrase, but it has a ‘rightness’. And the feel progresses through tones and moods. Obviously it must do so, otherwise it is ‘out of tune’, ‘disjointed’ or ‘noise’.

    I think our piece has this conducting strand, this evolution of emotional tenor. At 12 verses a Junicho is only as long as single ‘development’ passage from the Kasen (which divides its movements 6/12/12/6). It is clear therefore that a Kasen is a very much more concerted undertaking than a Junicho.

    Norman Darlington’s ‘Triparshava’ divides its movements as 6/10/6. It is, in my opinion, the first serious pattern for renku to arise in a country other than Japan (Norman is from the Republic of Ireland). The Triparshava allows for a closer approach to Shofu (Basho style) techniques than other shortish forms and I think it would be good to try one here at the Snail.

    But first let’s try another Junicho so that we can bring in some voices that haven’t been heard so far.

    Ashley – you’ve been so kind to allow me some administrator privileges but I’m not confident I know how to set this up. Could you help please.
    Lastly – we should consider if we wish this poem to find a paper imprint somewhere and at some time. I suspect that the laudably public and open stance of the Snail means that, for competitions such as the Einbond, we’d be disqualified – otherwise I’d suggest entering (and kigo problems be damned!). On our main page I’ve given started and completion dates. It is something of modern international convention to list the names of the contributors along with their nationality/place of residence. For vast countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, India , and the Russian Federation this tends to mean the province, state or constituent republic. I’m ‘England’.

    Best wishes, John

  252. lorin says:

    Thanks, John. It’s been a privilege to be able to participate in this and learn from you.

    It does seem fair that others should have the chance, so if enough ‘new’ people are interested [and I’m sure they will be] I’m happy to stand by and observe the next Junicho. Keep me on your ‘spares’ list, though, just in case. 🙂 And I do look forward to the opportunity of doing the Triparshava under your leadership.

    My details, in relation to your view to publication:

    Lorin Ford, Victoria, Australia

    What about ‘Simply Haiku’? It has a huge readership, and is accessible to all.

    best wishes,
    lorin

  253. Joseph says:

    I echo Lorin. I’d love to participate again (or in another collaborative project) but will stand aside if there are enough new explorers.

    John, you’ve been a great facilitator! I’ve learned so much. I’d still like my own sibaki to check for valid kigo. I know where to find lists online, but I want a book I can hold for my very own.

    I would love to work with everyone here again, as well. I think we played off each other well. What do others think? And I’d also like to see this renku on paper somewhere. I am proud of this work!

    Joseph Mueller, Vermont, United States

  254. Joseph says:

    Hey Willie. Home?

  255. Joseph says:

    Oops, just reread our junicho and realized there is a typo in the last verse. Here’s how it reads now:
    a drunken kiss
    the sea, the stars revlove

    Let’s change this to:

    a drunken kiss
    the sea, the stars, revolve

    although the concept of “revlove” is interesting. As is the line, “the sea, the satyrs, revolve”

  256. johnedmundcarley says:

    Thanks everybody. I’ve corrected the typo.

    Yes, Simply Haiku is a good idea. I did wonder if any of the Antipodean paper journals are considering renku. I’m not really up to speed with the likes of Yellow Moon, Kokoriko (?), Paper Wasp et alle.

    Joseph, I’d recommend The Haiku Seasons by the late William J Higginson as a vital companion to any understanding of Kigo and Kidai. I really miss pulling his beard about the subject.

    Best wishes, John

  257. Joseph says:

    Thanks, John. Let me know when we start our next writing!

  258. lorin says:

    Hello again, John,

    ‘Yellow Moon’ is no more. Beverley George is now editing the tanka journal, ‘Eucalypt’. I’ve not seen renku in ‘paper wasp’ [to which I’m a subscriber] …just haiku, senryu, some tanka, some sequences.

    I’ve seen some shorter renku in the NZ journal, ‘Kokako’, [editors Pat Prime and Owen Bullock] in the past, but am not up to date on it. It is [or was] prefaced by ‘…a magazine of haiku, tanka, haibun and related genres’ .

    I think Bill Higginson’s ‘Haiku Seasons’ is out of print? Not sure, but it was the last time I checked. His ‘Haiku World’ is still available, and I believe there’s a new , revised edition coming up for publication soon.

    best wishes,
    lorin

  259. lorin says:

    ps …there’s a possibility that ‘Notes From the Gean’ will publish renku in the future, but that’s not been decided at this stage.

    lorin

  260. Sandra says:

    Kokako is now edited by Pat Prime and Joanna Preston and do publish linked verses by multiple authors.
    You will find submission details here.
    http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/haikunews/haikupublications
    The journal is paper edition only.

  261. John Carley says:

    Thanks Sandra and Lorin, yes I’ve had the pleasue of composing renku with both Pat Prime and Colin Stewart Jones. Both seemed keen.

    I’ve been contacted by Moira Richards, the current Simply Haiku renku editor. She came across the Snail and our Junicho. She is very keen to publish. From the brief note she’s sent me it looks like she’s identified some particular features of interest. I don’t know what they are – but suspect they may centre on issues of season reference (Moi is from the southern hemisphere – South Africa). She has indicated that, were we to submit the piece to Simply Haiku, she would be interested in some contributor’s note/observations to accompany the piece.

    What do we say team?

    Not sure if The Haiku Seasons made it back it print Lorin (I seem to remember it did do just before Bill died. But there are lots of new copies up for sale on Amazon for US$10 + US$4 p+p. Used copies as little as US$4.5

  262. John Carley says:

    Ooops. Sorry folks. Forgot the salutation (and to close of those parentheses!).

    Best wishes, John

  263. lorin says:

    oooh… 🙂 many thanks for the update on ‘Haiku Seasons’, John. I’ll be getting myself a copy.

    🙂 …wow! Publication offered, already! Word gets out, then.

    I’d be more than happy to supply contributor’s notes on the verses I wrote, as I’m sure the others would be too. Would you let us know on what (the Australian references, most likely?) and the sort of brevity required.

    cheers,
    Lorin

  264. g’day John

    That’s great news! I look forward to reading Lorin’s notes.
    Yellow Moon reads very well.

    Thank you again for sharing all your wisdom. I look forward to further participation.

    It was a pleasure to work with everyone.

    Peace and Love

    Barbara A Taylor
    Australia

  265. ashleycapes says:

    Hey! This all sounds fantastic ! I’m very excited – will definitely help! I think we did great – and thank you too, John for doing such a fine job leading and teaching! Very happy to have been part of it 🙂

    And, as before, I’m happy to step aside to make room for another participant in round two! I’ll stick around to observe & comment of course.

    John, yes I can fix that up – I’ll open a new page & rename our current ones – leaving us the ability to run things the same way!

    Ashley

  266. lorin says:

    “I look forward to reading Lorin’s notes.”

    hey, Barbara…I imagine you’d be writing up your notes, too? Especially for the shearers’ strike?

    cheers,

    lorin

  267. g’day Lorin

    No, I don’t intend to. I think Moira may be after just a contributor’s notes as to how the creative process developed for them. Not just his or her individual ku. But I don’t know
    really.

    You write so well, have explained reasonings and argued points whilst providing links and information to australian culture. I just know that what you write will be well worth reading and accessible to those who are all learning about
    writing renku.

    I meant the above in quotes to be very complimentary.

    Peace and Love

  268. willie says:

    Hello team!

    And to you, Joseph, thanks for asking after me.
    I’ve got to acquire a computer and IP service again-now I “borrow” these on a “catch as catch can” basis.
    Tough to do and work on me little bloggie spots.
    Looking forward to the new Gean Tree Press issue, Lorin.
    I’m sure it will be a killer publication!
    As for comments for our recently completed Junicho, Yellow Moon, I suppose I could include notes on my delight and wonder of being involved in a poetry form almost entirely new to me. The learning experience was incredible!
    I haven’t been this excited about a project in a coon’s age!
    I think the most exciting part was the input from the other writers-so compelling and inspirational! You really made me stretch and work hard to contribute something as viable as your wonderful stanzas. Also, the participation in analysis of each others verse opened up a whole new world for me.
    Made me think-really took me out of my head and involved in something bigger than my selfish exsistence.
    Again, I thank you all for heightening my knowledge and standards.

    Most sincerely,

    Willie

  269. ashleycapes says:

    I agree Willie ! This really made me push myself to keep up and looking over the readings we each gave each other’s work was invaluable – along with John’s leadership. This is was superb.

  270. John Carley says:

    Hi team, thanks for the feedback. I’ll contact Moi then and offer the piece. I’ll also clarify the nature of the further info she’s after.

    I’ll continue to use this page to track the progress of our poem towards publication. Meanwhile I see Ashley has already kindly set up a new work area for or next Junicho so I’ll head off over there and get the preliminaries underway.
    One last thought… there’s been a lot of ability on display amongst this team. There are a lot of people out there who would really benefit from a flexible and creative introduction to the process of composing renku [instead of being told that it is nightmarishly complex]. What would it take for YOU to be sabaki?
    Best wishes, John

  271. Joseph says:

    Hey All! Well, John, I was going to ask you the same question! What would it take? I am in the preliminary mode of marketing a plan to get the group ElderHostels involved in a poetry/junicho/haiku weekend. BTW, I just got my copy of The Haiku Seasons by Higginson. It IS in print.

    I would love to put down some thoughts on the process and challenge (and joy) of our collaborative work. Feel free to pass on my email if necessary, or just point me to the site where I can delve in.

    I think Yellow Moon has been blessed with talent, erudition, a healthy sense of humor, and real care over word and image. This is poetry.

    Willie, glad you’re doing okay. If you all check over on tyhe kasen page, you’ll se a whole bunch of recent “fire-tower” ku. Very interesting the way certain images arise for different people at the same time. Jung’s synchronicity” and Koestler’s “coincidence.”

    Just reread the junicho….I am still pleased!

    Joe

  272. John Carley says:

    Hi all, pubication – Moira Richards has been back from Simply Haiku she asks for “Some version of the tomegaki you’ve writ for the piece” plus “Something from each of the participants reflecting on the process/their experience of composing this poem”. Which, I’m sure, we can all willingly deal with.

    But. For Yellow Moon to appear in Simply Haiku the completed text of the poem would have to be removed from the Snail.

    I can understand this stance, even if I don’t unconditionally endorse it. We are basically looking at the conflicts that the web brings to the age old question of prior/parallel publication. I should add that (a) this stipulation comes as policy from Simply Haiku’s managing editor, (b) it is, in my experience, commonplace and (c) I think I already mentioned that the nature of the Snail’s laudably open access stance means that poems completed here would almost certainly be inelligble for competitons such as the Einbond.

    Ashley is our host here. I was not party to the understandings which informed the inception of this excellent project/facility. And I was the founder renku editor of Simply Haiku. All of these things disqualify me from expressing strong opinions in this matter.

    Best wishes, John

  273. John Carley says:

    On being a sabaki – (Joseph, above). Unfortunatley Joe there are no resources, either online or in print, which I’m aware of, that deal directly with the question of how and why to lead renku composition.

    My own approach has been learnt directly from work with, and instruction by, Eiko Yachimoto, Nobuyuki Yuasa, Shokan Tadashi Kondo and the late William J. Higginson. I have also paid close attention to the comments I have gleaned from scraps on the web from the late Shinku Fukuda, plus discussions at once remove with Tateshi Tsukamoto and Haku Asanuma. You could try using all of these names as part of search strings, with additional words such as ‘sabaki’, ‘sosho’, ‘shuhitsu’, ‘shikimoku’, ‘tsukeai’

    I’ve just learned that my current ISP provider is about to close it’s associated web space so I’m going to have to move the damned Renku Reckoner pages, again! But once I get that organised I’ll add a strand or two dealing with these issues – it’s all very well me going on and on about ‘what’ to do but not if I neglect to mention ‘how’!

    Best wishes, John

    ps – excellent idea about the ElderHostels project.

  274. lorin says:

    “What would it take for YOU to be sabaki?” John

    It’d take, at least, opportunities to participate in quite a few more renku, guided by sabaki with experience and learning as I went.

    “For Yellow Moon to appear in Simply Haiku the completed text of the poem would have to be removed from the Snail.”

    This is normal publication practice and even more generous than that of some of the stricter publications, as far as I can tell. ‘Issa’s Snail’, being a blog and not a private forum, is accessible to the general public, searchable by google etc.

    best wishes,
    lorin

  275. ashleycapes says:

    I agree – it is a generous offer and I’d certainly be willing to consider it based on what the others feel?

    (to that end, here’s my 2 bob)

    It wouldn’t have to mean that the Snail could never lead readers to our renku – for instance, surely I could place a link here, that led to ‘Yellow Moon’ at the Simply Haiku site (if it were accepted)?

    As I started the Snail chiefly to continue the addictive process of renku, and to keep in touch with all of you from the Cordite renku (and to welcome new poets!) I think we have achieved that and more – anything extra is a fantastic bonus.

    Further, I don’t think we’d be asked to take down the discussions and drafting too – so all of our learning remains here – another thing I’d hoped the blog could achieve

    Geeze, what would it take … some extra pointers indeed – I do like to watch and learn, but something written that I could refer to would help, John – the searches you’ve in mind would be superb and anything you put together at the Reckoner I’d be keen to see one day!

    Ok – will work on my thoughts re: the process!

  276. lorin says:

    Hi Ashley,

    🙂 I need to thank you [officially] for setting up the renkus. A wonderful follow-up to the ‘haikunaut island renga’. You certainly got me enthusiastically in! And I thank you enormously for getting John to lead us in this one.

    And yes, it is rather addictive! I want to be involved and learn more. I know it’s addictive from my impatience! …hmmm

    I can’t see anything untoward about setting up a link to ‘Yellow Moon’ at SH from ‘snail’… good thinking 🙂 I’m not so sure about keeping the drafting on a public blog, though, so ask someone like Moi who’s in a position to know. From what I’ve experienced, she is a lovely, intelligent and very approachable person, with sensitivity and a sense of humour to boot.

    cheers,
    lorin

    • ashleycapes says:

      Thank you 🙂 My pleasure! I’m very happy that everything has taken off here, and happy too, that we’re all able to keep in touch through the site.

      And I’ll also officially thank John here, for leading us so well and so generously! So thank you again, from me & all the Snailers!

  277. John Carley says:

    Hi all, no Ashley, there was no indication of a requirement to take down the discussion strand. And yeah – we could just put link through to the SH site. Good thinking! We might have to take the text down and put a ‘read the full text coming shortly in Simply Haiku’ note up in the meanwhile.

    Best wishes, John

  278. ashleycapes says:

    Excellent! I could do that later today if you like?

  279. Joseph says:

    Excellent!

  280. John Carley says:

    Ok folks, I’ll clarify with Moi when the poem needs to come down (probably immediately) and I’ll get the full info on what she’d like contributor’s notes/thingies to address.

    Best wishes, John

  281. John Carley says:

    Ok folds here we go – the poem is scheduled for October issue of Simply Haiku and Moira is asking for the full poem text to be taken down asap.

    The additional material is a tightened version of my tomegaki/rant that appears here plus “Something from each of the participants reflecting on the process/their experience of composing this poem and of renku in general […] renku demystified, demythified without being dumbed down”.

    Crucially she asks for this further material NOT to appear on the snail, but she is very happy for the drafts and discussions strand to stay up and will in fact put a link to it in her SH editorial.

    I was going to suggest that participants send their blurd to me and I could forward it enbloc. But on consideration that looks a bit controlling. May I respectfull suggest therefore that participants send their scrips to Moi direct at the Simply Haiku renku email address: mr@intekom.co.za

    Just for the record though everyone is welcome to my own email address – not sure if it shows up somewhere on the Snail or not: johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com

    Right then – I’m off over to our new strand to look at developments!

    Best wishes, John

  282. Joseph says:

    Thanks, John.

  283. ashleycapes says:

    Will do that right away, sounds great! Come on October!

  284. John Carley says:

    Hi all – last update on this. Moi says the issue is in fact November (Ashley please could you change the ‘coming soon page?)

    And she’s also asked if, contrary to my earlier suggestion above, I could collate the contributor’s comments/notes stuff (kanso) along with my debrief (tomegaki) and send the whole lot as a single submission because she has very high volumes of correspondance going on.

    So that’s johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com

    Thanks folks. John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s