Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop
Monday, March 15th, 2010 (Please join us next time, April 19th, 2010)
Renga is a form of Japanese collaborative poetry that consists of multiple stanzas (ku) that resemble a haiku. Typically, a renga poem is written by 2 or more people (renju/ichiza), but it is meant to be very free flowing and not perfect at all. When writing a renga, there is first a renga gathering (chogyo) and it is conducted by a sosho or sabaki who is familiar with the form. At this gathering, a piece of paper is passed around and everyone takes a turn writing the next stanza, this passing down is called hizaokuri. There must be a theme, usually in relation to nature, change, revolution, or love. Another renga rule is called kukazu which means, the theme must be consistent for at least 2 stanzas, but it cannot go on for more than 5 stanzas. After 5 stanzas about nature, you must begin a new theme, in the same poem! There is no limit to how many stanzas there can be so we can always come back with this topic another time and continue our renga, written by our poetry group….
BASIC RENGA FORMAT
• The 1st stanza is called hokku (if you haven’t already guessed, hokku sounds like haiku for a reason). The hokku contains 3 lines in a syllable pattern of 5-7-5. Hokku must have the theme and will tie into the final stanza when everything is over.
• The 2nd stanza is called waki and it contains 2 lines in a syllable pattern 7-7.
• The 3rd stanza is daisan and it contains 3 lines in a syllable pattern of 5-7-5, just like the hokku.
• All other following stanzas are called hiraku and they continue the pattern. To simplify things, its as if all hiraku are a pattern of 2 lines of 7-7 (waki) then 3 lines of 5-7-5 (daisan).
• The final stanza is called ageku and it can either tie into the hokku, or be exactly the same as the hokku depending on where you are in your pattern because keep in mind that the hokku is 3 lines, and the ageku may be 2 lines if the stanza before it was 3 lines!
Stanza 1: Hokku- Line 1: 5 syllables
Line 2: 7 syllables
Line 3: 5 syllables
Stanza 2: Waki- Line 4: 7 syllables
Line 5: 7 syllables
Stanza 3: Daisan- Line 6: 5 syllables
Line 7: 7 syllables
Line 8: 5 syllables
All following stanzas continue the pattern of 3 lines, then 2 lines. The syllable pattern also continues. These flowing stanzas are called hiraku.
Last stanza: Ageku - is either similar or identical to the hokku depending on where you are within the pattern.
Lesson created by: Amanda Konstantine Perlmutter