Rengay Through the Seasons #12 Summary

by Max Verhart (mv), and Vaughn Seward (vs);
Rengay #12 (Nov 18-24) Summary

The Graying Hare

Hazy sunlight — a cloud of lapwings / practicing. /mv
After school at the piano... thoughts of other places. /vs
Rattling shutters — Checking the condition / of my sweaters. /mv
The graying hare / hops into a willow thicket — overcast day. /vs
A kid's shoe with a carrot / sitting near the fireplace. /mv
A grizzly lingers / in a patch of rose hips — darkening sky. /vs

The theme we had in mind for this rengay is "Preparation" which is something we find man and nature doing, especially in late Autumn. You will notice that there is a balance between the number of verses that are nature-related (1, 4, & 6) and those that are human-related (2, 3, & 5).

The link between verse 1 and 2 is 'other places'. For the lapwings it is the other places they will be flying to, for the child practicing piano it could be two things: (a) he/she would rather being doing something else in some other place, like playing outside or in his/her room; (b) the music being practiced conjures up far-away places (Oriental, Country, European, etc).

In verse 5 there is a reference to the Dutch tradition of Saint Nicolaas which is more popularly known as Sinterklaas. In the Netherlands he arrives in late November and rides a white horse. Helped by his black assistants, he brings children small presents, which are supposedly delivered through the chimney and placed in the children's shoes. That's why these shoes are usually waiting near the fireplace (or near a radiator, nowadays), often with some hay or a carrot in it for Sinterklaas' horse. This continues till December 5th, when Sinterklaas brings the bigger presents, after which he immediately departs again. Santa Claus, as known elsewhere in the world, is a modern spin off of this old European tradition.

Verse 6: Black bears and grizzlies eat rose hips in the fall. The link with v.5 is 'Carrot' with 'Rose hip', but also the image of a veggie within something. In verse 5 the carrot is within the shoe, in verse 6 the rose hips are being put inside the bear.

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Click here for the previous rengay in the series.


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

Thanks for the info. :)

Ričardas said...

Very interesting explanation. Thanks

Borut said...

‘Deeply’ beautiful!:)

Looking at it closely, life is a complex affaire...
I wrote a similar haiku as the one about the greying hare a few days ago..., except that mine was about a cat... When I first saw it, a fortnight ago, it seemed to me to be a dark grey 'tiger’, as we call tabby cats here... When we met the second time, it was light brown, like a true 'wild cat' ... I found it appropriate to warn my dear aunt, its owner: ‘This one will go wild!?:)

polona said...

as always, interesting and informative explanation :)

Masago said...

Thanks everyone! Borut: I suppose hares are wild but perhaps not in the sense of what you had in mind for your cat. :-)

Pamela said...

this was not only beautiful to read, but educational as well!!

Bill said...

Imaginative. And effective, even without the explanation.

Masago said...

Pamela: Thank you so much.

Bill: Thank you.