Simply Haiku: An E-Journal of Haiku and Related Forms
September-October 2004, vol. 2, no. 5

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Welcome

to the Simply Haiku Renku Column for September 2004. So thought provoking is this issue's selection of contemporary haikai-no-renga that it is best to present the material with only the briefest of introductory notes; there are entire treatises to be written on some of the matters raised hereinafter.

 
 

 

Summer Dawn

is a solo Junicho by Ireland's Norman Darlington. Question: is it easier, or more difficult, to write renku alone? Is the intervention of others a welcome impetus, or just a pesky interference?

If, as it is sometimes argued, the relationship between the juxtaposed elements of a haiku is similar to that which exists between a given pair of renku verses it is not difficult to imagine how the practice of solo linked verse could be entirely beneficial for the diligent haijin. But what does it mean in purely renku terms? How important are theories of 'za', or 'group mind'?

In the parent literature the term 'dokugin' (solo voice) has tended to carry connotations of 'expository'. Given the multiplex demands of this type of composition it is not hard to see why.

 
 

 

Graphic Shisan: Our Path

is certainly haikai-no-renga, but is that 'ga' as in 'image' or 'ga' as in 'song'? Michael Baribeau kindly provides us with a tomegaki, a sabaki's debrief, to guide us through the process of composition for this most innovative Shisan. Note that here the artists have chosen to interpret the transitions between verses. Thanks to the work of the poets we are able to present the poem in French translation also.

Please be aware that in order for the full size images to open in this and the following piece, pop-ups may need to be enabled on your browser.

 
 

 

Bluenotes: Walking Blues

makes Pandora's box look like a powder compact. Performance? Performing? Performative? All these and more. . . or none of the above. And how far can one take a theme, an ambience, without the risk of stalling the motor of progression?

Raffael de Gruttola contributes an outline of the genesis and realization of the Bluenotes pattern. If your browser supports MP3 there is also an extract from lloyd Thayer's evocative accompaniment - float your pointer over the button, click to stop.

 

Do try this at home kids!

John Carley, Rossendale, Sept 2004

 
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