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Renga Example: A Hundred Stanzas by Three Poets at Minase

Here is how a famous historic Japanese renga looks. This is excerpted from: Earl Miner's Japanese Linked Poetry. 1  The book has the untranslated version as well. Incidentally, this is by far the best book on Japanese collaborative linked verse I have seen!

I have made the stanzas bold and italic so you can see how each "stanza" is used in two "poems." Normally the repetition is not put on paper in this manner. (See how it is normally written at the bottom of this page.) But it helps to think of it in this manner when writing. Everything you write will be the last part of a poem someone else started via the "previous stanza."


A Hundred Stanzas by Three Poets at Minase


Despite some snow

the base of the hills spreads with haze

the twilight scene


Despite some snow

the base of the hills spreads with haze

the twilight scene

where the waters flow afar

the village glows with sweet plumb flowers


Where the waters flow afar

the village glows with sweet plumb flowers

in the river wind

a single stand of willow trees

show spring color


In the river wind

a single stand of willow trees

show spring color

day break comes on distinctly

with sounds of punted boat”


. . . and so on . . .



Or put in the form as usually recorded:

Despite some snow

the base of the hills spreads with haze

the twilight scene

 

where the waters flow afar

the village glows with sweet plumb flowers

 

In the river wind

a single stand of willow trees

show spring color

 

day break comes on distinctly

with sounds of punted boat

***

1 Earl Miner. Japanese Linked Poetry. 1st Princeton Paperback ed. Princeton, NJ. 1980. Print paperback.


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