Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Carpe Diem #1655 Tan Renga Challenge (2) Beautiful Ugliness

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the 2nd episode of May 2019. This month we are creating short chained verses or Tan Renga. Tan Renga looks a lot like tanka, but instead of written by one haiku poet it is written by two haiku poets and therefore it's the smallest form of a chained verse.

For today's Tan Renga Challenge I have chosen a haiku by a not so well known haiku poet and contemporary of Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), Yozakura better known here at CDHK as the Unknown Haiku Poet.

Basho Tree or Banana Tree
In the Spring of 1681 a disciple of Basho, called Rika, presented him a banana tree (a Basho). From that moment on he changed his name to Basho and his home was called 'Basho-an' (the banana tree cottage).

As Basho he became a famous haiku master. His earlier haiku, which he wrote under several pseudonyms, are now also known as haiku written by Basho. The first haiku he wrote as Basho was the following one (according to Jane Reichhold):

basho ue te    mazu nikumu ogi no    futaba kana

planting a banana tree
more than ever I hate
sprouting reeds

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

The above haiku isn't the haiku to work with by the way. It's another beautiful haiku created by Yozakura, the Unknown Haiku Poet:

unworthy to look at
beautiful ugliness

© Yozakura

Thistle in Full Bloom

And here is my attempt to create a Tan Renga with this beauty by Yozakura:

unworthy to look at
beautiful ugliness                                         © Yozakura

thistles in full bloom
dewdrops shimmer at dawn
                       © Chèvrefeuille

or this 2nd stanza:

dewdrops on thistles in full bloom
making them stunning at dawn
                  © Chèvrefeuille

I couldn't decide which 2nd stanza to use. I prefer the second, but I don't know it for sure. What's your idea? Share it with me through the comment-field.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until May 8th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new Tan Renga Challenge later on. For now ... have fun!

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