Friday, August 30, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #12, Southard's "the swing of the gate".

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies, another week has gone by and I have to prepare a new Tan Renga Challenge for you all. As I can recall I have asked a few of you if I may use their haiku for the new Tan Renga Challenge, but (feeling ashamed) I don't know any more whom I have asked. So if it was you please let me know, so I can (with your permission of course) use your haiku in a later episode of our Tan Renga Challenge.

Mabson O. Southard, our featured haiku-poet for September

For this weeks Tan Renga Challenge I have chosen a haiku by our featured haiku-poet of September, Mabson O. Southard (1911-2000) a modern haiku-poet with a special love for the classical 5-7-5 syllable-structure. So this Tan Renga Challenge is a bit different then the other episodes of the Tan Renga Challenge. The second stanza (7-7) has to be real (classical) 7-7, not easy I think, but we have to try.

Here is the haiku by Southard which is the first stanza of this weeks Tan Renga:

Just the cellarpit;
only the catbird recalls
the swing of the gate.

The goal of this Tan Renga Challenge is to write the second stanza (7-7) by associating on the first stanza. As I said earlier in this post 'this time it's, because of Southard, to write a real 7-7 stanza'. My attempt to write a second stanza for this Tan Renga:

First stanza (5-7-5):

Just the cellarpit;
only the catbird recalls
the swing of the gate                                                    (Southard)

Second stanza (7-7):

the squeak of the backyard gate
breaking the spring night's silence                              (Chèvrefeuille)

To complete this Tan Renga with the correct number of syllables I had to use a syllable-counter program, because I am not familiar with the syllable-sules of the English language. With thanks to Mark M. Redfearn who helped me to re-vise the first version.

I hope you like this Tan Renga Challenge and I am looking forward to the completion of you all. This Tan Renga Challenge will stay on 'till September 6th 11.59 AM (CET) and I hope to publish the new Tan Renga Challenge later on that day.
For now ... have fun, pick up the Challenge, be inspired and share your completion of the Tan Renga (by copy and paste the first stanza) and your second stanza with us all here at Carpe Diem.


  1. Kristjann, how about this:

    the squeak of the backyard gate (7)
    breaking the spring night's silence (7)

    Occasionally I try to write haiku in German, a language I feel comfortable with, but it's still difficult. I can't imagine how hard it is to write haiku in English, if English is not your native language! (I'm afraid I wouldn't do very well at all trying to write haiku in Dutch!)

    1. Awesome I like this stanza you are proposing here ... I have used it as you can see :-)

  2. This was a challenge for me - especially to keep to the 7-7 syllable count.FYI: You mentioned using my haibun for an episode of Tan Renga. Here is the link: Thank you. It would be an honor to have my poem used on your web page and to see what response poems are created.

    1. Good day Wabi, thank you for helping me to remember that it was of your haiku which I would like to use for our Tan Renga Challenge. I will use it for the next Tan Renga Challenge which will start September 6th.
      I am looking forward to the responses of our fellow Carpe Diem family members on your haiku too.


  3. Kristjaan thanks for always looking for ways to encourage and challenge us
    this was indeed a challenge

  4. This one was indeed a little challenge... I love your collaboraition