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RENKU: linked collaborative verses: TRIPARSHVA 7

Sabaki (lead poet) - Linda Papanicolaou




22nd JUNE 2022

For this round, we had thirteen participants two submitting verses each, plus some revisions where kigo sneaked into what must be a non-seasonal verse. All are part of the learning process! Welcome to the two writers who have just joined us. All of you continue to amaze and gratify me with your brainstorming and creative thinking. I know from my own early experience that it is hard to continue writing submission after submission of excellent verses when none of yours has yet been chosen.

As I see my own part in our endeavor, there are two aspects to being a sabaki. The first is to spot the verse that the renku wants for that slot. I may set certain requirements—such as 2 lines or 3, non-seasonal, person or place, etc., but in all humility, I generally don’t know what the best verse will be until I see all the submissions posted, try them out in the slot, and try to gauge where each would take us. Often I am surprised by the unexpected, but just as often I am guided by your instincts—several submissions with similar topics or moods, suggest that this is where we should probably go next. So again, to everyone who submits. It is more helpful than you know. This touches on the second part of my job as sabaki: making sure that everyone who has stuck with participating will be placed in the renku. I take it seriously to reconcile these two aspects, and I’m very pleased that we are on track with a fine quality renku that will be inclusive and a pleasure to read.


For this 6th verse, which concludes our Jo, the call was for a two-line, non-seasonal person verse, preferably with first-person singular or plural, and as always linking to the previous [winter moon] verse while moving away from the leap-over verse 4. I was intrigued that several of you linked to Angiola’s snow moon with lovely verses that drew on its sense of silence. Of these, the one we will use is Sushama’s because of the layering in its linking. The nearness of the moon becomes the nearness of heads bent over a chessboard, while the silence of moonlight becomes a “crackling silence” of chess players contemplating the next move. Although the verse does not say when this chess game is being played, the time and season “spills in” from the moon verse, with the implication that it’s a winter night, and “crackling” could also hint at a fireside. There are analogies between the multiple possibilities of moving pieces on a chess board and possibilities of verses in a renku. Our own next move will be moving on to our second side, the Ha.

Really nicely done, Sushama—Thank you!

Here is the verse in the context of the entire renku so far:

1. Jo

house warming …

all the flavours of summer

on a dining table / Firdaus Parvi

a dozen ripened mangoes

from the neighbour next door / Kala Ramesh

the gleeful shouts

of street kids rolling

a bicycle tyre / Priti Aisola

an airplane through the clouds

in an indigo twilight / Margherita Petriccione

so close

the snow moon

envelops the field / Angiola Inglese

crackling silence as we bend

over the chess board / Sushama Kapur


We are now embarking on the Ha (second side). These sections are called “sides” because in traditional Renku parties, the poem is inscribed on the fronts and backs of sheets of paper, and at this point, our scribe would have filled out the front side of the first sheet.

The second side is called the Ha. It will have 10 verses, and two seasons: Monsoon, then Autumn and non-seasonal verses interspersed. The autumn verses will include the major moon verse, and there will be some special topic verses about love,

We will be linking and shifting as before, but we will want to differentiate the Ha from the Jo. Returning to that analogy of a renku as a party, we are now past that early stage where everyone was still being polite and formal. By the second side, called the Ha, things will have warmed up. Topics that we would not have introduced in the first side are now what we want. This includes proper names of people and places, topics such as foreign travel, illness, politics, religion, disaster, etc. I’ve noticed that many writers here at Triveni like minimalism, so shorter line lengths or irregular lineations are fine. Wordplay, literary references, and jokes can also liven things up.

Specifications for verse 7:

3 lines, un-cut, non-seasonal, person verse.

Write a syllable count or line length that is comfortable for you.

Here are verses 5 and 6. Link to 6, shift away from 5 :

so close

the snow moon

envelops the field

crackling silence as we bend

over the chessboard

Use the Topic Checklists as a tool:

Topics we’ve covered already: Named season, dwelling, food, vehicles (airplane, bicycle), cloud, heavenly body (moon), snow, no time of day/night and field.

Topics that can give a distinct flavor to the Ha: personal or place names, occupations, music and art, current or historical events, foreign travel, sickness accidents or calamities.

We do not have an animal yet. Several have been offered but non has found its way into the renku. I won’t limit you to animal topics, but it would be really good to have one at this point.

Does this give you enough to work with?


Each participant may offer two submissions, posted together in the same comment, with your name as you would like it to appear in the renku. Instructions for submitting remain as last time.

The deadline is 48 hours from now. We follow Indian Standard Time (IST). This POST will go up on 22nd June at 6 A.M. So on 24th June at 6 A.M, the window closes (IST). All 7th verse offers must be posted on this thread BEFORE 6 A.M on 24th June.


The schema for our triparshva:

URLs for online saijikis:

Kondo and Higginson, “Link and Shift, A Practical Guide to Renku Composition”:

Ferris Gilli, “English Grammar: Variety in Renku”:

................................... Join in the fun!! Thanks a lot, Linda for your time, effort and knowledge. I loved reading your reasoning for choosing a short verse as the moon verse.

_()_ ADDING THE SCHEMA HERE: Side one - jo hokku summer

wakiku summer

daisan non season

4 ns

5 winter moon

6 ns


Side 2 - ha

7 ns

8 ns

9 monsoon

10 monsoon love

11 ns lv

12 ns lv

13 ns

14 autumn

15 au moon

16 au

Side 3 - kyu

17 ns

18 monsoon

19 ns

20 spring

21 sp blossom

ageku - sp

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