Sunday, June 9, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge, a new feature.

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to introduce to you all a new feature on our haiku-community Carpe Diem. It's a challenge to write Tan Renga. Tan Renga is a two stanza poem with 5-7-5 and 7-7 syllables. Those who are familiar with the Tanka will see that the Tan Renga is the same form. However there is one difference. In Tanka it's a poem written by one poet, but in Tan Renga the poem is written by TWO poets.

Credits: Renga party (c) Alan Summers

In classical Japan they had Renga sessions in which the poets composed a chain of stanza's. You can read more about Renga in our Carpe Diem Lecture 2 , Tan Renga is almost the same, a 'chain' with two links, written by two poets. Poet ONE writes the 5-7-5 stanza and Poet TWO writes the 7-7 stanza to associate on the stanza of Poet ONE. As you know I am not of  'counting' syllables so the used stanza's will not be as I mentioned earlier in this post.

An example:

between boards
shadows on a sunny porch
a slender coolness                                                (Jane Reichhold)

moving on the ceiling
bare branches of an oak                                       (your host)

In this Tan Renga I have used one of Jane Reichholds wonderful Summer haiku for the first stanza of 5-7-5 and I have written the second stanza associated on shadows in the second line of the haiku by Jane.

Another example:

morning sun
the twinkle of stars
still in the dew                                                        (Jane Reichhold)

her bright shining eyes
she unpacks her new doll                                    (your host)

In this Tan Renga I have used another nice haiku by Jane and this time I associated on the whole second line and came up with this second stanza about my granddaughter.

I think Tan Renga is fun, so maybe I can make you all enthousiastic for this nice "short-chain" (as Tan Renga means) with this all new feature on Carpe Diem.

The goal for this new feature is to write the second stanza of the Tan Renga by associating on a stanza given by one of the classical masters, modern haiku poets or by myself. For this first episode I have chosen another wonderful haiku written by Jane Reichhold.
In your posts for this Tan Renga feature you need to copy the given stanza. So we can see and read it in one Tan Renga. So copy the given stanza and fill in your second stanza. Well ... we will see how this is gonna work out. I hope you all understand what the goal is of this new feature? Just to write together a Tan Renga.

OK ... this is the first stanza:

scattered in sand
embers of a saltwood fire
face to face with stars

[ ... ] your stanza ??????

Have fun, be inspired and enjoy this nice way of composing Tan Renga with eachother ... You can post your Tan Renga (the verse of Jane + your 7-7 stanza) until June 15th 11.59 AM (CET). I am looking forward to all of your wonderfully composed Tan Renga.


  1. this is new and fun...thanx for being a most gracious host....

  2. Love collaborative poetry in any form... a great idea.

  3. Nice challenge, Kris!!

  4. Thanks for bringing us this new challenge Kristjaan, what fun :)

  5. I like the new challenge.
    For a few minutes I was stumped, but it was fun as soon as the light went one !
    Thanks for the new chance to get the gray matter buzzing.