“I’m a wanderer”

Written for:  Carpe Diem’s Renga With Basho #7 – I’m a wanderer

It is time for a new episode of Carpe Diem’s Renga With Basho the special feature in which I challenge you to create a renga together with the master, with Basho. I will give you six (6) haiku written by Basho. You can choose your own line-up of the haiku. Your task is to create the two-lined stanza between the haiku. Try to create a closed chain through bringing the “hokku” (starting verse) and the “ageku” (closing verse) connected.

Your renga must have a minimum of six (6) verses and may have a maximum of twelve (12) verses. This renga form (12 verses) is called Juunichoo.

Here are the six haiku by Basho, translated by Robert Hass:

all the day long-
yet not long enough for the skylark,
singing, singing.

all through the night until dawn
lullaby for the stars
by the old temple,
peach blossoms;
a man treading rice

scent reminds him of old love
her skin soft as a peach

the shallows –
a crane’s thighs splashed
in cool waves

he shakes his feathers to dry
water trickles down his beak

I’m a wanderer
so let that be my name –
the first winter rain

splashes cold drops on my face
I laugh, and keep on traveling

the dragonfly
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass.

it sways in whoosh of spring breeze
silver green circle green blade

autumn moonlight–
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.


in tune to the skylark’s song
he feeds serenaded

© Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)



About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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