Exercises

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30 Responses to Exercises

  1. John Carley says:

    http://www.renkureckoner.co.uk/beta

    Hi everybody, I’ve been working on some exercises to add to the Renku Reckoner site. They are in a temporary folder at the url above.

    I’d be very grateful if people would have a look and give any kind of feedback on site or direct to johncarley at virginmedia dot com

    Specifically – there’s an exercise there based on a very old Chinese verse form that might qualify for a little more serious consideration. Please have a look at the Haizekku (provisionial name, might be ‘New Zekku’).

    As you’ll see there’s provision on the page for some exemplars. How do you fancy attempting some?

    PS – my friend and colleague Eiko Yachimoto has picked up some finger damage with consequent difficulty typing these last several weeks. Hence the no show to date in terms of a further short poem led by her.

    Please post any comments (or Haizekku first verses etc) you might wish to make in this strand.

    Best wishes, John

  2. kalaramesh says:

    Thanks John,

    Just one doubt, how can we get a master’s translated verse to use without its accompanying copyright issues?

    _kala

  3. ashleycapes says:

    I’m keen to jump in soon, just gotta organise a few things and find a bit of spare time

  4. John Carley says:

    Hi Kala, short answer – you can’t. Anything later than Hearn and Chamberlain will still be in copyright to the translator. On renkureckoner.co.uk/beta some of the exercises have resources that Eiko and I are happy for people to use, but other than those – you are correct: in order to publish one would need specific permissions from the copyright holder.

    Best wishes, John

  5. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, if anyone want’s to try a four verse sequence, here’s a potential hokku. Kigo – mid spring where I live. It needs a wakiku – either also mid/late spring or non season.

    Best wishes, John

    a secret garden —
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves

  6. ashleycapes says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves

    old green-fingers
    stuck in the mud

    Not sure that ‘mud’ alone is really a kigo?

    Looking forward to hearing what you think, keen to try again

  7. g’day John, all

    Love to try this:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves/jec

    the paper boat floats
    motioned by a pinwheel

    ~~~

    peace and love

  8. kala ramesh says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves/jec

    attempts of a honey bee
    to waken a bud / _k

    ?
    _kala

  9. kala ramesh says:

    or:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves/jec

    the honey bee’s attempt
    to waken a bud

    ?
    _kala

  10. John Carley says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves

    old (mr) green-fingers
    stuck in the mud

    chased in silver
    a fossilised fish
    lighting up her smile

    Hi Ashley, the suggestion of Mr is just in there to allow more of a strict balance between long/short.

    OK – you get ageku! John

    • ashleycapes says:

      Yeah, excellent, John – the extra beat with ‘mr’ is great. Ok, here’s a shot at it:

      a secret garden –
      caterpillars sculpt
      my cabbage leaves (j)

      old mr green-fingers
      stuck in the mud (a)

      chased in silver
      a fossilised fish
      lighting up her smile (j)

      with a sharp twist
      the tap goes quiet

      Will come back to try another monday/perhaps sunday!

  11. John Carley says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves/jec

    the honey bee attempts
    to waken a bud

    these many years
    your constant love
    unswerving as a star

    Hi Kala, hope you’ll forgive this draft of wakiku with ‘attempt’ as the verb rather than noun.

    Your ageku! John

  12. John Carley says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves/jec

    the paper boat floats
    motioned by a pinwheel

    Barbara, this is intriguing – not least because you choose to place more distance between hokku and wakiku. I’m not entirely sure I get line two properly though – is there a way to simplify slightly?

    Best wishes, John

  13. g’day John

    The image I had is of children in their secret garden. On a pond, pool, or puddle, they are playing with paper boats which they power by the propellors on a pinwheel, which I
    discovered is a all spring kigo.

    Perhaps I can change to:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves/jec

    the paper boat floats
    powered by a pinwheel

    Is this any better?

    Peace and Love

  14. kala ramesh says:

    John,

    Thanks,
    & I’m ok with the edit!

    My offers for the ageku,

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves/jec

    the honey bee attempts
    to waken a bud

    these many years
    your constant love
    unswerving as a star

    I search for something
    beyond spring rain

    the multi-coloured kites
    prop up the sky

    a dragonfly
    touch touching lily pads

    the lark in the clear sky
    carries my tune

    .

  15. John Carley says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves (j)

    the honey bee attempts
    to waken a bud (k)

    these many years
    your constant love
    unswerving as a star (j)

    a multi-coloured kite
    to prop up the sky (k)

    Hi Kala, many thanks for such a far reaching set of alternatives. Feeling my way here of course but I think that if we treat the opening pair as conventional ‘spring’ it is perhaps most wise to move away such an identification in the close. In truth, irrespective of such considerations, I find the kite verse the most attractive (January?). The suggestion of moving to the singular (a kite) is a gut feeling based loosely on contrast to the plurals of the hokku.

    Best wishes, John

  16. kala ramesh says:

    Thanks john!

    Yes, in India, the annual Kite Festival is on January 14, and is generally regarded as the kite season.

    I was going for a spring ageku, not realising that the hokku was situated in spring. Silly of me 🙂

    I’m happy you found my kite suitable for the ageku.
    The four verses seem to sit so well together!
    warmly,
    _kala

  17. John Carley says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves (j)

    the honey bee attempts
    to waken a bud (k)

    these many years
    your constant love
    unswerving as a star (j)

    the multi-coloured kites
    prop up the sky (k)

    Hi Kala, thanks so much for your patience. Yes, I’m very happy with this, and it is also clear to me on revisiting the text that your original draft of the kite verse is superior. So, if it is agreeable to you, let’s sign this off as a definitive text.

    Best wishes, John

  18. John Carley says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves (j)

    the paper boat floats
    powered by a pinwheel (b)

    all the turmoil
    all the pain
    reduced to origami (j)

    Thanks Barabara. I can’t give you a reason why this wakiku suggested itself to me – clearly the paper folding link – but the rest of it??

    Anyway, if it leaves you cold just say and I’ll attempt an alternative direction.

    Best wishes, John

  19. kala ramesh says:

    Yes, the kite verse (original version) sits well.
    Thanks!

    I like the way the sky is propped up for us to enter the secret garden!!

    It was fun doing this exercise 🙂

    _kala

  20. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, sorry to butt into the strand. Good news though.

    After becoming involved in an altercation between a large piece of bamboo and a very sharp knife the internationally renowned renku poet Eiko Yachimoto has managed to reattach all her typing fingers. She will therefore shortly be appearting here at The Snail in order to lead a new sequence.

    Accordingly check out the page New Sequence (tab at head of this page). Soonest.

    Best wishes, John

  21. g’day John,

    Thanks for advising re Eiko.

    Pain! I do like the sounds in this verse.
    OK, here is my ageku for your thoughts.

    secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves (j)

    the paper boat floats
    powered by a pinwheel (b)

    all the turmoil
    all the pain
    reduced to origami (j)

    stirring fond memories
    where mother lies (b)

    ~~~

    It all seems rather sad.

    Peace and Love

  22. John Carley says:

    secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves (j)

    the paper boat floats
    powered by a pinwheel (b)

    all the turmoil
    all the pain
    reduced to origami (j)

    stirring fond memories
    where mother lies (b)

    Many thanks Barabara. Yep – there’s an entire lifetime of hope and disappointment somewhere at the back of this poem.

    On a purely technical level this is very encouraging. Firstly because both this poem and the other one with Kala do seem to close out i.e. ‘complete’. And they are so radically different in what they evoke despite starting with the same hokku. Which suggests that four verses may be a viable format for a sequence which is non-thematic, but which does achieve a sense of ‘wholeness’.

    Obviously the jury had to be out until a number more are written. But I am grateful for the efforts people have made here.

    Best wishes, John

  23. John Carley says:

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves (j)

    the honey bee attempts
    to waken a bud (k)

    these many years
    your constant love
    unswerving as a star (j)

    their multi-coloured kites
    prop up the sky (k)

    Arrrgh! Still messing with your verses Kala! Honest to God this is the last word – I’ve been rather unwell these last several days, hence the suggestion of a redraft to an original that was self-evidently better. But when I realised how ill guided my redraft was I also forgot why I ever started out down the potential redraft route.

    I do think the sequence is stronger if #2 and #4 don’t both begin with the definite article ‘the’. It’s something to do with the fact that in such a very compressed sequence elements that would not really matter in longer pieces somehow seem to attract more focus.

    So above I suggest ‘their’. In fact the effect – to sketch in the multitudes at kite festivel – seems to me to work to our advantage by placing a slightly greater contrast between #3 and #4, thus enhancing the ‘summary’ or ‘determination’.

    What say you Kala? J

  24. kala ramesh says:

    John,

    I understand your concerns about both of my verses beginning with ‘the ‘

    Your edit seems perfectly ok to me,

    Thanks,
    _kala

    ps. Yes starting with the same hokku, both these exercises are totally different and that is the best part of it.

    Barbara and John, yours is beauitiful and poignant

  25. g’day John,

    Thanks for these exercises. It is interesting to see how a hokku advances differing perspectives. I really like yours and Kala’s poem. Thanks Kala for your comments.

    Keep well, John. Spring comes with joy and hope…

    Peace and Love

  26. John Carley says:

    Hi all, as I suspected my Japanese etymology is not as good as it need to be. The correct term for what we are doing here is ‘renzekku’.

    I’ve already updated the ‘beta’ site. And will be going with this term hence forth.

    Best wishes, John

  27. ashleycapes says:

    And from John & I, here’s one with an ageku!

    a secret garden –
    caterpillars sculpt
    my cabbage leaves (j)

    old mr green-fingers
    stuck in the mud (a)

    chased in silver
    a fossilised fish
    lighting up her smile (j)

    the ‘plop’ as a coin
    falls into water (a)

  28. John Carley says:

    Brilliant, thanks folks. I will be going live i.e. public with this four verse sequence idea shortly.

    For various reasons I’ve decided not to name check the ‘zekku’ in the title, not least because it would be yet another name ending in ‘ku’!

    So watch out for ‘Yotsumono Renku’. ‘Yotsumono’ means literally ‘four things’ and is an echo of the time honoured word ‘mitsumono’ (three things).

    I’m not sure how many examples I’ll need to use on the final webpages folks, but I’ll contact people off list to discuss copyright permissions as and when.

    Thank you so much. John

  29. Claire says:

    Hello John,

    I am on your and Eiko’s zekku and am just wondering where to read a complete one so to have a concrete idea of an entire one.

    I hadn’t seen this page before… but only the orange/black “exercise page”.

    However, still being in the mist, I’m just asking…

    Claire
    cl.gd (dot) wanadoo.fr

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