Last Saturday, I took a class on haiku as part of my birthday present to me. It was offered by Margaret Chula (Maggie), a Portland poet. The Milwaukie Ledding Library is home to a thriving Milwaukie Poetry Series, which besides poetry readings offers classes throughout the year.
I met Susan Blackaby, my classmate in crime, for the workshop. One of our writing prompts was to write a two person rengay.
Rengay: A modern 6-stanza form similar to renga, except that in contrast to a renga, a rengay is intended to deliberately carry a theme throughout, such as a common topic or a narrative. Rengay are intended to be collaborative — with 2 authors (A and B), the number of lines for each stanza is A3 B2 A3 B3 A2 B3, where each successive stanza is written by an alternating author.
Maggie provided great scaffolding to take on this form.
She gave us six haiku with the first two lines written and had us finish the third line. From there we selected the haiku to begin our first stanza of rengay. We decided on a theme and wrote the alternate stanzas.
by Suz Blackaby (A) and Jone Rush MacCulloch(B)
painting the fence
fifth dog barks
the porch light flickers
a broken bulb
the toaster previously heated
but the frayed cord
replays yesterday’s lunch
open a can
candles sputter without heat
in the silence
her heart pounds
the dog needs to go out
I would love to play with this collaborative form more. I think it could be great fun. Feel free to contact me if you want to play.