Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge #1 a cherry tree blooming in old age

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I was writing our new episode of Wandering Spirit a nice idea came in my mind. So I created a new feature to challenge you with. I have titled this feature "Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge", and I think the goal is clear for this new feature. Yes ... that's right ... creating renga (a chained verse), but not the easy way I think. Let me give you an explanation for this new feature ... a real challenging feature I think.

In the new episode of Wandering Spirit you read a renga created by Basho and Yozakura. A nice renga I think, but maybe it's not as you had expected, but that's no problem. Yozakura and Basho created it straight from the heart and don't forget ... it was Yozakura's first try to create renga.

In this new feature "Renga Challenge" I love to challenge you all to create a renga of at least six (6) verses and with a maximum of 12 verses. Sounds easy ... well that's not true I think, because there is a rule. You have to create a renga by using haiku I will give you. It's your task to write the two lined verses (7-7 syllables approximately). With those two-lined verses you complete the renga. You may use the haiku in the order you like, so there is no need to use the order in which I will share them with you.

For this first "Renga Challenge" I have chosen six (6) haiku written by Basho and gtranslated by Jane Reichhold. So in a way you create a renga together with Basho.

For this first episode of this new feature I have chosen six (6) haiku written by the young Basho, so these are his first attempts to create haiku. All the haiku are taken from Jane Reichhold's "Basho, The Complete Haiku".

the old woman
a cherry tree blooming in old age
is something to remember

in summer rain
would you be happy with
the moon's face

the voice of reeds
sounds like the autumn wind
from another mouth

The Voice Of Reeds

inside the temple
visitors cannot know
cherries are blooming

what a sprout
a dewdrop seeps down the nodes

of generations of bamboo

separated by clouds
the wild goose lives apart for a while
from his friend

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold, "Basho, The Complete Haiku")

Six beautiful haiku by the master to use. Now it is up to you to choose the order, to choose at least three of the haiku and connect them trhough your two-lined verses. Remember that your last two lines of the renga are the ageku and have to close the chain as started in the first verse you have chosen.

I know this will not be an easy task, that's why I give you two weeks to create your renga together with Basho. Have fun!

This first episode of this new feature "Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 27th at noon (CEST). Good luck and awaken your muse to create a renga. (!! More about renga you can find above in the menu in CD Lecture 2 !!)