A Renga was a collaborative form of poetry in Japanese culture. There would be a starting Hokku (often misinterpreted as a haiku) written by a literary figure, or whoever happened to start the correspondence, in the form of 5-7-5 that would serve as a prompt of sorts for the rest of the poets included in the Renga to reply to.
In the 1980's, Renshi became popular--a more contemporary form of Renga which made it possible for poets to collaborate on a Renga from all over the world. Traditionally, poets would alternate between the 5-7-5 verse and the 7-7 add on to create a series of linked Tanka. But for our purposes we will be replying with full tanka 5-7-5-7-7.
One thousand years
of Japanese poetry any
no time to learn it
Now your task?
Write a continuation of this opening Hokku---reply in the form of a Tanka:
Make it relate to the Hokku, a continuation, and let's keep the poem going! If you get several ideas, send them in, and we'll see which ones work with the other verses we get!
Please submit your responses to the Hokku to
please include your name and a 1-2 line bio in the 3rd person.
We are going to try to string the response verses together to make a coherent and interesting Renga!
We've done this live with amazing results. If we have success with this experiment we will kick-start a new project of contemporary Renga.