Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "rakugaki"

This poem came out of the January 7, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] librarygeek. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] bairnsidhe. This poem belongs to the Lacquerware series.

-- a renku

street comedians
bring in the new year: rude words
lacquered on walls, oh!

touch the lacquer with your hand
and it tells you where to go

vampires take their ease
where lazy citizens go
waiting to be drunk

* * *


Rakugaki is the Japanese word for graffiti, often done by gangs to mark their territories.

Raku originally meant comfort, ease, or relief.

raku [ rah-koo ]
a thick-walled, rough, dark lead-glazed Japanese earthenware used in the tea ceremony.
raking bond, raking cornice, raking course, raking piece, rakish, raku, rakʿa, rale, raleigh, raleigh, sir walter, ralik chain
1870–75; < Japanese raku(-yaki) “pleasure” glaze, originated by Chōjirō of Kyoto, who was given the seal-stamp with the character “pleasure” from Hideyoshi as an artisan-household designation

Gaki is a type of Japanese vampire.

• A three-link renku, comprising:
1. A 3-phrase hokku.
2. A 2-phrase wakiku, with a connection to the hokku.
3. A 3-phrase daisan, with a connection to the wakiku and no connections to hokku.
Mitsumono was originally a system of three types of Japanese warrior. They specialized in gathering verbal and visual information.

hokku [opening verse] Opening link of a renku or other sequence of linked verse. Traditionally it should use both kigo and kireji. It presents some 'here and now' aspect of the shared experience, the time and place of the participants.
After Masaoka Shiki and others, known as haiku when composed as an independent poem.

Kireji (切れ字 lit. "cutting word") is the term for a special category of words used in certain types of Japanese traditional poetry. It is regarded as a requirement in traditional haiku, as well as in the hokku, or opening verse, of both classical renga and its derivative renku (haikai no renga). There is no exact equivalent of kireji in English, and its function can be difficult to define, it is said to supply structural support to the verse.[1] When placed at the end of a verse, it provides a dignified ending, concluding the verse with a heightened sense of closure. Used in the middle of a verse, it briefly cuts the stream of thought, indicating that the verse consists of two thoughts half independent of each other.[2] In such a position, it indicates a pause, both rhythmically and grammatically, and may lend an emotional flavour to the phrase preceding it.[3]

哉 / かな kana: emphasis; usually can be found at a poem's end, indicates wonder

Wakiku -- Second link of a renku or other sequence of linked verse. Has 2 phrases. Focus is on one thing related to the previous link, the hokku. Needs to be rich in its own right, so that the daisan (third link) can connect to the wakiku while not making a connection to hokku. Presents some other 'here and now' aspect of the shared experience.

daisan -- ["third"] Third stanza of a linked-verse sequence. Has 3 phrases. The daisan should both 'link' and 'shift'. It connects to the wakiku (second link) while making no connection to hokku (first link), repeating no word or punctuation mark (particularly the dash or other punctuation expressed by a word in Japanese). Sometimes described as the 'break-away' link.

street comedians (manzai, New Year). A comedian and his straight man.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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