2008-11-22

Renhai Reflections 47: Summer


Summer

A Renhai by Vaughn Seward (vs) & Janice Thomson (jt)

Driftwood tangle —
gentle tongue of the tide
steals the beach. /jt

Weathered fence post — /vs
a straw hat sways in the wind. /jt

We cross the field
in Grampa's model T -
sun-tinged hood. /vs

Click here for notes and linking details:
http://cflat7.drivehq.com/Renhai_0096.htm

[Note: this Renhai involved an experiment in a specific type of verse linking. Please check the notes for details.]

13 comments:

upinVermont said...

Difficult. Much to praise.

The poem has more of a Western feel, than Japanese. I cannot imagine a Japanese poet having written these lines (not that this is or was your intention).

"gentle tongue of the tide" is a peculiar conceit - not beautiful but original. This sort of imagery is very western.

The central couplet hints at some emotional complexity but, perhaps because of the nature of this form, there is no resolution.

The final tercet lacks the comparison of ideas; the association of disparate ideas; the momentary or sudden recognition of oneness that I've come to associate with great Haiku. The associations lack the originality of the first tercet.

Whether because of the subject matter, the nature of the form, or some other reason, I feel that the sum of the renhai's parts do not exceed the whole. There is an uneasy mix of influences and goals?

That said, I admire the effort made to write these each day. I look forward to what the next day brings.

Devika said...

Hi Masago!

interesting..-seen the notes too :)
innovation is always interesting to the mind..

btw, what's this Grampa's model T?

wishes!
devika

John McDonald said...

another enjoyable one
john

polona said...

another memorable one with a bit of nostalgic feel as well...
you two have been busy lately, but well done! :)

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

the 2 of you go together so well! (I remember, Vaughn, how hard it was for you to work with me- it was hard for me to really understand the "feel" :)

Borut said...

It's just a step: from the heat of the moment to the frozen moment of attention. In between these two: our life - a scarecrow in the form of a 'Weathered fence post -' ...!?:)

jem said...

The last two share a nice sense of a touching of man and nature. And the first one is wonderful - unexpected images that really work. LIke the sea is greedy and taking what it wants and spitting out the remains. Well done.

Masago said...

Thank you, everyone!

upinVermont: Renhai is a new poetic form that has borrowed concepts from Japanese verse including Renga and Renku, as well as English haiku and Rengay. One should not expect Renhai to appear as having been written by a Japanese poet or be free of Western influence.

Andrew: ...but you got the hang of it, and I'm looking forward to when you are ready to give this new form a go. :-)

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

yes, it will be fun. :)

Devika said...

hi Masago,

came to see new ones..

hope all fine...will ome later :)

wishes,
devika

Janice Thomson said...

Thanks from me as well everyone! These are neat to do - Vaughn is a tactful and delightful partner to collaborate with.

upinVermont said...

//Renhai is a new poetic form that has borrowed concepts from Japanese verse including Renga and Renku, as well as English haiku and Rengay. One should not expect Renhai to appear as having been written by a Japanese poet or be free of Western influence.//

Yes, and I don't mean to imply that western influence detracts from the poem. I was "writing aloud", as it were. And I understand the inspiration of your verse form.

It's an interesting experience commenting on them. (And from this point on I am trying to tread very lightly.) When the sonnet was first adapted, or adopted, by English poets, there really wasn't a sense, yet, of their possibilities or how the sum should exceed its parts. Similarly with your Renhai, I don't have the sense yet that the form has been mastered. In other words, what quality is unique to the Renhai? At what point can one say, *that* is how a Renhai *should* be written? I have been looking over your older poems and I don't have the sense that the form has transcended its rules -as it were.

Nothing wrong in that.

And it's to be expected.

It is very exciting to see a new form in the making.

Pamela said...

I've never thought of the tide as being a gentle tongue. But now that you mention it, it is a good description. It has licked at my barefeet on a number of occasions