Monday, June 11, 2007

Alchemilla mollis

I wrote about this plant, also known as lady's mantle recently. Anyway, I've put what I learned into this short poem,

Lady’s Mantle
Alchemilla mollis

Little magic one
look how beautifully
you clasp the rain,

staunch the flow;
a crystal drop
in each dewcup

till bruise
is gone
from blue.


Too much to do this week, I'm in town two days out of five at meetings and on Friday I have some of my husband's family visiting for the day. The bright spot is that I'm going to attend a renga that Colin Will is organising on Thursday - I'm looking forward to it as it will be my first.

6 Comments:

Blogger Colin Will said...

Love this poem, apprentice. Captures it beautifully.

10:51 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

That is a beautiful poem - love it!

7:47 am  
Blogger PI said...

Honey what is a renga? S'cuse my ignorance. Just browsing 'Eats shoots and leaves' so hope the apostrophe is in the right place!

10:50 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks all.

Pat here's a definition, s'cuse the cut and paste job.

Renga is a form of Japanese collaborative poetry. Ren=connected or linked. Ga=elegance. A renga consists of at least two ku (or stanzas, often many more. The opening stanza of the renga chain, called the hokku, later became the basis for the modern haiku style of poetry.

As the renga was a popular poetry form for many centuries, there are many sayings that find their roots in renga traditions. The Japanese phrase ageku no hate means "at last", as the ageku is the last stanza of a renga.

The most favored form of renga in the Edo period was the kasen, a chain consisting of 36 verses. As a rule, kasen must refer to flowers (usually cherry blossoms) twice, and once to the moon. These references are termed hana no za "the seat of flowers") and tsuki no za "the seat of the moon").

By one reckoning, the earliest recorded renga appeared in the late Heian period, and was in fact a waka composed by two poets. This style is called tan-renga (短連歌, tan-renga? "short renga"). Other styles are called chō-renga (長連歌, chō-renga? "long renga"). However, Yoshitomo pointed to songs in the older Kojiki about the god Izanagi and the goddess Izanami as earlier examples.

Two of the most famous masters of renga were the Buddhist priest Sogi (1421 - 1502) and Matsuo Bashō (1644 - 1694).

In Western literature, the term "renga" has been applied to alternating accretive poetry, not necessarily in the classical Japanese form. Examples include Octavio Paz and Charles Tomlinson's sonnet-renga "Airborne", 1979, and to the work of Canadians P. K. Page and Philip Stratford, whose collaboration between 1997 and 1999 became the sonnet collection "And Once More Saw The Stars", 2001.

10:55 am  
Blogger Cailleach said...

that is really beautiful. The sparcity of words lets these really sing.

9:52 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks Barbara, that's a compliment coming from you.

1:23 pm  

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