Adventure 343 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 9]

There’s a rumble of excitement in The Big Renga house today 🙂 . Verse 9 heralds the start of the second page of the renga. The second page will have 14 verses. The Moon Rule and (wait for it!) the Flower Rule (that starts off spring) must both be invoked on this page.

Today’s renju, Janet Dowling, had plenty of options. She could have composed a final verse on the theme of autumn (a maximum of 5 consecutive verses is allowed); she could have invoked the Flower Rule; or she could have written a verse about love, winter, summer, places, dwellings, mountains or shores.

Janet plumped for winter and this is what she came up with :

Exquisite members
traversing the dormant plain :
running, sweeping low

In her accompanying commentary, Janet says ” My kigo word is dormant, being the sleeping land of winter. My link to the previous verse is the sense of small animals making their way through winter. “Members “running , sweeping low” is all about creating the idea of limbs in motion.”

Hmmm… so what will happen, tomorrow? The renga field is wide open again!

Get your daily dose of the Big Renga Round-Up in today’s video.

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 339 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 5]

Betsy really raised the renga temperature yesterday with a smokin’ hot second verse on the theme of love. The options for today’s renju, Kate Gold, remained alluringly wide for today’s verse 😛 . Kate could have written a third ,and final, 5-7-5 verse on the theme of love. She could have invoked the Moon Rule and started of the theme of autumn. She could have written a verse about summer, winter, shores, mountains, dwellings of travel.

Kate plumped for the Moon Rule and this is what she came up with :

Strength of waxing moon
pulls the tide ever higher
as distant peaks glow

To invoke autumn, you must use the kigo word “moon”. Kate shows a link with Betsy’s by mirroring the swell of hearts with the swell and pull of tides. She shows contrast within the verse by inviting us to compare an image of the sea with an image of mountains. She shows a shift in direction by pulling us back into nature.

So, what does this mean for tomorrow? Well, it means one thing : autumn. Once autumn has been started, at least another two verses on the them must follow.

Oh – and I almost forgot. Something brilliant happened yesterday : one of our poets (Caroline) was interview on BBC Radio 3 about the Big Renga Project. How brilliant is that!

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 336 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 2]

I posted the hokku (the first verse) of our renga yesterday, and, from now on, it’s my job to be a diligent sōshō . The  sōshō makes sure that the renga is completed and that the renju (renga poets) adhere to the complex rules.

Verse 2 should be in 7-7 format, and Leslie (the second poet) had lots of options. She could have continued with winter, or moved on to autumn, or onto love, or onto some of the minor (but allowable) themes such a summer, travel, mountains and shores. The only topic off-limits today was spring (you can’t mention spring until after the 8th verse!).

She needed to use a kigo word (to identify the season) and not repeat any previous images. She needed to demonstrate some kind of link with verse one, but also a shift in direction.

Leslie stuck with winter and this is what she came up with :

Lone wolf sings a lullaby :
bear dreams the new icy day.

So, there is continuity because we are still in winter, and there is a shift : the temperature just dropped! Leslie also introduces animals into the image and a she alludes to hibernation too.

You can get the full low-down on today’s episode of The Big Renga Round-Up.

I am just going outside and may be some time.