Monday, May 11, 2009

The Rengay Form

The rengay is to renga (and other collaborative verse) as the nosegay is to a large wreath of flowers - small, intimate, accessible, and typically lighthearted and joyous.
--Michael Dylan Welch

The North American rengay was invented in 1992 by Garry Gay (ren-Gay). Unlike renga, there are only a few rules:

  1. six haiku verses written by two or more poets;
  2. verses alternate between 3-lines and 2-lines;
  3. each verse should be an independent haiku (including the 2-line verses), though this is the least stringent requirement;
  4. a theme should be followed, but without the tight link and shift patterns in traditional renga.
  • 2 person pattern:
    3 lines, poet A
    2 lines, poet B
    3 lines, poet A
    3 lines, poet B
    2 lines, poet A
    3 lines, poet B
  • 3 person pattern:
    3 lines, poet A
    2 lines, poet B
    3 lines, poet C
    2 lines, poet A
    3 lines, poet B
    2 lines, poet C
  • Recently, 6-person rengay have appeared in such journals as Sketchbook.

From conversations with Garry, I know that once having given birth to this new genre he is happy enough to watch its form evolve and become enriched by the imaginations of those who have taken it up. From his perspective, the two incontrovertible “rules” of rengay are (1) more than one participant, and (2) adherence to a theme. -- Carolyn Hall, Frogpond, 2007

Links:
http://www.nc-haiku.org/pdf/RengayWriting.pdf http://www.baymoon.com/~ariadne/form/rengay.htm

Be sure to visit Garry Gay's website of photo haiga: The Long Way Home

1 comment:

Ananji said...

Wonderful sharing of a new way to craft words. (New to me!) Thank you!