Monday, May 29, 2017

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 #18 a wandering crow (Matsuo Basho)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have another nice challenge for you in this wonderful Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017. Today I love to challenge you with a beautiful "hokku" by Basho. This "hokku" was the first verse of a real renga which Basho attended. Basho was very well known in his time as a Renga master and he was invited at a lot of renga parties. The one that started with this "hokku" was attended at the home of one of Basho's elegant friends, Sakuei. Before I give you this "hokku" I will give you the so called "pre-script" to this "hokku", in Basho's time it was common to give haiku a title or a pre-script.


This was composed when seeing a screen of plum blossoms and a crow at the house of Sakuei. A renga party was held with this as the starting poem.

a wandering crow
its old nest has become
a plum tree

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This pre-script was not by Basho himself, it was added by Doho in his book Sho O Zen-den. In this poem Basho compares himself to the crow painted on the screen. Instead of lodging in the simplicity of a crow's nest, he sleeps among plum blossoms because he is staying with an elegant friend. Crows are not usually considered a migrating bird, but the idea of a wandering crow means a bird of passage or a priest on a journey. (Source: "Basho's Complete Haiku" by Jane Reichhold)

Crow and Plum Blossom (Woodblock Print) (image found on Pinterest)
Well ... as you can see in the "logo" of this episode of our Tan Renga Challenge, this time I love to challenge to create a "Soliloquy No Renga" (a "solo-renga"). What does that mean? Well .... it's a kind of renga I invented and the goal is to create a renga with at least six stanza following the sequence: "hokku", (in this case, the haiku by Basho); two lined stanza, three lined stanza, two lined stanza, three lined stanza, two lined stanza, and so on. The last stanza the "ageku" (closing verse) makes the "chain" complete. (So at least 6 stanza ... but if you like you may do more stanza).

!! More on Soliloquy No Renga, you can find HERE)

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 3rd at noon (CET). Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Challenge accepted! It's been a while since I've done a soliloguy no renga