Friday, May 29, 2015

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #87, Basho's "for the Star Festival"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

For this week's Tan Renga Challenge I have chosen an early haiku written by Basho. At that time he was 22 years of age and just starting to write haiku. This haiku he wrote in the autumn of 1666 and I think it's a nice one, but there is some need to tell you something first about this haiku.

On the seventh day of the seventh month, now celebrated on July 7, is Tanabata ("Star Festival"). This is the night once a year when the crow herder, the star Altair, crosses the Milky Way on a bridge of magpie wings to meet the weaver-girl, Vega, for a night of celestial love making. On a summer night, considered by the Japanese as the beginning of autumn, in this hemisphere, these are the two brightest stars seen directly overhead. If it rains the lovers cannot meet. Traditionally, on this evening people gather for outdoor picnics. Children of all ages make  wishes by writing them on strips of paper to be tied on bamboo bushes. The word uchuten is a compound word made by Basho incorporating "rain in the middle of heaven" and "ecstasy."

Credits: Tanabata Festival (July 7th)
Tanabata no awanu kokoro ya uchuten

for the Star Festival
even when hearts cannot meet

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

A wonderful Festival and a wonderful haiku to start our Tan Renga Challenge (TRC) with this week.

For those who are new at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai I will explain the "task" for this TRC. A Tan Renga is a short chained verse written by two poets. It looks similar with the Tanka, but the Tanka is written by one poet.
The Tan Renga has two stanza, the first the hokku, looks like a haiku following the sequence short-long-short line. The second stanza has two lines with approximately 7 syllables per line. This second stanza you have to write by associating on images of the first stanza. While doing that your second stanza makes the Tan Renga complete or continues the scene in the first stanza.

Here is my attempt:

for the Star Festival
even when hearts cannot meet
rainy-rapture                                  (Basho)

after a while the clouds move
finally the lovers can meet each other                (Chèvrefeuille)

Ah ... I like this little love story .... what a joy that must be to find your soulmate and become one with him/her.

This Tan Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday June 5th at noon (CET). Have fun!

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