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Interviews: Renga poetry

Updated Wednesday, 5th July 2006

The strict rules of Japanese Renga are set to one side to allow the poets to have more fun, explains Andrew Ray.

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Listen to an interview with Andrew Ray of Renga, which is a group poetry event based upon ancient Japanese poetry of linked verse.

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Copyright The Open University

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Andrew Ray: Well, I’m Andrew Ray and I’ve been involved in the Renga event which is a group poetry event actually run by Alec Finlay. Renga is an ancient Japanese form of poetry which is basically linked verse, but we take some liberties with the form. We don’t do it with all the strict rules that the ancient Japanese verse form had, which is good because it makes it much more easy for people to come in and take part. The Renga project itself which is mainly based in Scotland and the North of England has been, I think this is about the sixtieth run of it, so it’s been going for about five years. We started off in the morning and ended just before the football started, and we had quite a range of people joining in. It’s a very participative event, that’s the idea, it’s a sequence of little poems which are joined together, and every fifteen minutes or so the idea is that the group will try and compose a poem and add it on to the last one, so you end up with twenty small verses, and that’s what we ended up with, and it was very interdependent event because it depended on all the participants.

 

 

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