Thursday, November 29, 2007


Catherine and I began writing linked verse in collaboration with each other quite a few years ago, and have since self-published several collections of our work. These are lines captured in a haiku-like form. For this informal type of linked poetry to work there needs to be balance and empathy between the writers, in much the same way that renga evolved in Japan, as enjoyable entertainment and communication. We don’t see our linked poetry as haiku or renku, but rather as ‘stream-of-consciousness’ lines written when we are in close proximity: walking, talking, visiting places of interest. Our links follow certain themes of time, place, feeling and ‘togetherness’, rather than following the Japanese tradition of the mind ‘leaping’ from one image to something totally different. This, we have been told, is part of the ‘rebellious’ nature of our work, and is what makes it different from the formal style of renga. It is what makes it popular, gives it a certain charm, and makes it more accessible to readers. From writing linked verses, we have progressed to collaborative haibun and sonnets.

Patricia Prime
New Zealand

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