Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Wednesday #10 such a cold night

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Wednesday again and that means ... time for a new episode of our special feature Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Wednesday. The challenge of this special feature is to create a Tan Renga with a given haiku by adding your second stanza of two lines (approx. 7-7 syllables). This week I have chosen a not so well known haiku by, my master, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).

kazuki fusu futon ya samuki yo ya sugoki

lying down
with quilts over the head
such a cold night

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Japanese Quilt

As you can see, in this haiku Basho uses rhyme, a not so very well known haiku writing technique, because, as you maybe know, in (translated) haiku the use of rhyme isn't common (according to Western studies).

Rhyme is a major component of Western poetry. In Japan most of the sound units (onji) are built on only five vowels, and rhyming occurs naturally. Yet, haiku translated into rhymed lines often need so much padding to make the rhyme work that the simplicity of the poem gets lost. However, if the reader takes the time to read the romaji version of the above haiku by Basho. one can see how often the old master employed the linkage of sound in his work. The rhyme, in the above haiku, occurs in "kazuki", "samuki" and "sugoki"..

So that brings us a new challenge ... try to let your 2nd stanza, of two lines, rhyme too.

This Tan Renga Wednesday episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 28th at noon (CET).

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