Adventure 358 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 24]

So, we know it’s going to be autumn today, but do we know what kind of autumn it’s going to be? ūüėõ Today’s¬†renju, Cara Wilde had the task of providing a 7-7 verse on the theme of autumn.

This is what she came up with :

Sienna rots, dank death calls :
Mabon’s hands held high now yield

This is what Cara says about her verse : ” My autumn kigo word is Mabon*. I continue the themes of fading light (dusk) and¬†everything returning to the earth, leaves ready to rot….but there is the tension between the celebration of the harvest and the pull to go inward (the calling of winter). I ¬†change direction with the notion of yielding…ready to go deep and dark!”

* Reference to the autumnal equinox.

You can watch today’s episode of The Big Renga Round-Up here :

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 338 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 4]

After Flemming’s invocation of the Love Rule yesterday, today’s¬†renju, Betsy Anderson,¬†has very limited options! Betsy must continue the theme of love (the Love Rule has an attached continuity rule : when love is mentioned at least one more consecutive verse on the theme must be created) but she cannot mention the word love. She must also show a shift in direction.

Here’s how she got on with her 7-7 verse :

A longed-for kiss, light and chaste :
heart swells, and colour rises.

Pretty impressive , right? We’re in no doubt that we’re still on the subject of love – and she turned up the temperature too. We’ve gone from crystal coldness to the heat of passion (“colour rises”), and that’s a clever change of direction too ūüôā .

Hmmm. So what does this mean for tomorrow’s verse? Well it means that there could be a third and final verse on love. Or, the Moon Rule (autumn) could get invoked. Or it might mean a return to winter or a visit to summer, dwellings, mountains or shores!

You can hear the latest news from today’s episode of The Big Renga Round-Up.

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 293 ~ Launch A Collaborative Poetry Project

big renga projectI’m sure you may have realised ¬†by now that I’m a bit of a haiku fan ūüôā . As part of the research for my book¬†Seventeen Syllables ~ Cultivating Presence Through Poetry, I looked at the origins of the haiku form. What is now known as¬†haiku was originally known as¬†hokku, the first verse of a collaborative linked- verse poem called a¬†renga.

The renga form has been around since the thirteenth century, and you can find out more about it here. In a nutshell, groups of poets works together to create a linked poem. The first stanza follows a 3-line 5-7-5 syllable format, just like the haiku. It also contains a kigo (season word) and a kireji (cutting word). The second stanza responds to the first stanza, but this time in a 2-line 7-7 syllable format. The renga then gets handed back to the first poet or handed on to the third who, again, works with what is offered in the second stanza but employs the structure of the first (7-5-7).

This sequence of 3-line and 2-line structures is then repeated until the poem is done!

I thought is would be fun to work with other poets to create a renga poem called “December” to capture the spirit of this month. As December will be the last month of my 365 Days Of Adventure project, it feels like collaborating with others might be a lovely way to end the year.

So, for today’s adventure, I’m launching¬†The Big Renga Project¬†and this is where you come in! I’m putting out a call for a crew of 23 poets to join me in creating a 25-verse¬†renga. Whilst no previous poetry-writing experience is required to join the project, I’m looking for ¬†people who are

  • Up for learning about, and respecting, the¬†renga form
  • Keen to collaborate and be part of ¬†a supportive, playful, creative community
  • Able to keep their commitments
  • Prepared to be responsive and present to the previous stanza
  • Respectful of the emergent spirit of the renga
  • Willing to record their stanza in video format (so I can create a film of the whole¬†renga with all the poets involved)

The project will start on December the 1st and the final verse will be created on the 25th. I will create a private Facebook group to facilitate collaboration and information sharing. Each day during December, the poem will be updated so that people can see the renga grow.

If this sounds like this project could be for you, please drop me an email to in the first instance. If you know of others who might enjoy being part of  this collaborative venture, please feel free to share this information with them.

NOTE¬†– it is not necessary for the poetry to be written in English. However, to support other poets, a translation into English will be required for a smooth stanza transition! For all non-English stanzas, subtitles will be required for the video ūüôā .

I am just going outside and may be some time.