|© 2013 Haiku Society of America|
A Cup of Snow
and bathe eche veyne/in swich licour/of which engenderéd . . .
~This verse is in Middle English. It is taken from the second couplet of the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, generally dated between 1340 and 1370. As with all texts of this antiquity there are many variants. A recent, re-versified translation by A.S. Kline gives the full couplet as:
And bathed each vein with liquor of such power
That engendered from it is the flower
The form is modular rather than having a set length, permitting as many verse movements as the participants wish to complete, up to six. Season and seasonality are important, but not in a structural manner; the same is true for moon and blossom verses. A high rate of change is guaranteed as nothing may endure for more than two verses.
Also, the penultimate movement of any rokku is inclined towards experimentation. I served as sabaki, but the renku effectively wrote itself, the very different personal styles of the participants being vital to the effort to break new ground. Sadly, one of us is no longer present, though her writing, as ever, stands out from the page. So we dedicate this renku to Hortensia Anderson, who passed away in May of 2012.
The Plenitude of Emptiness
hortensia anderson : collected haibun
with an introduction by Jim Kacian
“I have my copy already dog-eared and it is brand new! The haibun are potent and profoundly moving. This is a must-read. Get this book!” —Denis M. Garrison, poet, writer, editor, publisher: The MET Press
“I have tried to read Hortensia’s haibun with a critical discerning eye but I cannot. Again and always, the flow of her words and the intense images they allow me to create pull me under and away into a riptide of emotions.” —Jane Reichhold, poet, writer, editor, publisher: AHA Books
“The term ‘essential reading’ is horribly overused, but this book really is essential reading for anyone interested in writing the best, direct, real haibun being written today.” —Alan Summers, renga poet-in-residence for the City of Hull
The Plentitude of Emptiness: