Posted on April 6, 2016 by Christopher Thrall

As we wrap up another school year together, we have just a few more things to tickle your fancy! Tomorrow is a busy day, with the Les Parsons Ice Cream Fiesta, a computer careers info session and the History Symposium. Make sure to RSVP for the Spring Soiree on April 26! Graduating students: please come …

As we wrap up another school year together, we have just a few more things to tickle your fancy! Tomorrow is a busy day, with the Les Parsons Ice Cream Fiesta, a computer careers info session and the History Symposium. Make sure to RSVP for the Spring Soiree on April 26!

Graduating students: please come by to ring the Centenary Sculpture Bell after your last class on Thursday or Friday afternoon!

Finally, after the newsletter items, please find the Augustana Spring Renga, a linked poem created by AUENG314 students.

Augustana Spring Renga 2016

 

Spring sun glistens off

The mirrored skyline cliffs

Dew crawls back to earth

—WC

 

Gone are the days of dark, bleak skies.

Birds trill, welcoming the Spring sunrise.

—AW

 

Asphalt canyons dwell

Lurking in the street below

Awaiting dawn’s soft glow

—SR

 

People crawl from concrete depths

like ants from a churning hill

—MS

 

bone white disc watches

leaves ebb and flow beneath the feet

and mouths exhale clouds

—CW

 

Buildings pierce those clouds,

pointed spires leave deep gashes.

—JT

 

Blood pours over dawn,

staining horizon scarlet—

beauty after death.

—JT

 

Mimicking bleeding hearts, incomparable

to the ones behind closed doors.

—CC

 

Secret passions locked inside

Feelings thought to be

unrequited hopes and fantasies

—BS

 

Keys in the hand of nighttime thoughts

To liberate fervent desire

—MB

 

Darkness drapes itself over meadows,

Silence in folds among the hills.

Thoughts of night spread like moonlight ripples.

—CK

 

Soft beams through windows

Pale roads floating insect dreams

—WC

 

Balmy air cools the
Summer’s eventide, while dogs

cry their lunar cries.

—AW

 

Wolves run on burning pavement,

as the heat scorches the air

—HY

 

Sirens—mournful, dreadful

Wailing mad orders beneath

ultraviolet waves

—SR

 

Silence replaces all sound—

and a cool baptism begins

—MS

 

After the gutter

is silent and dry

colours spring forth from the grass

—CW

 

Rain blesses the fields with blossoms,

and trees begin to bear fruit.

—JT

 

Spring’s fruit is stolen—

as pressures, like hungry beasts,

gnaw at tired bones.

—JT

 

Indelible images left behind

of red-stained white shards.

—CC

 

Blood covered glass shards

Lifeless body on the ground

beside a newborn babe

—BS

 

The turn of century

The turn of machines

—MB

 

Soot drifts down with snow

to coat the streets—

fallen feathers of a shivering dove.

—CK

 

Frosty white feathered wings beat blizzard winds

Sweeping away icy dust and graveled slush

—WC

 

The early bird,

catches the worm in your heart

free to be eaten

—HY

 

While hole-ridden hearts scab

Slower than pock-marked streets can mend

—SR

 

Yet holes heal—

scar tissue visible

Tougher than before

—MS

 

Yellow operating-table-lamp

rests low in the sky

—CW

 

Harvest moon in sky,

dulled by street lamps all around—

stealing heaven’s grace.

—JT

 

Flushing red to smoulder

Envious of mortal lights

—CC

 

Like Will o the wisps

A blooming apparition

Rivaling bright leaves

—CC

 

Beauty visible through smog

barely breaking the gloom

—BS

 

Black air softens

away from yesterday—

together

—MB

 

Ash falls on the people

pockets of damp fit for play

—HY

 

And out of the gloom,

dandelions pepper the

once white, barren fields.

—AW

 

Forest to field, field to false-faced heights

Fresh strands emerge from concrete crevices

—SR

 

Renga participants, 2016:

Morgan Baker

Wesley Cook

Courtney Crookes

Connor Krammer

Seannah Rose

Becca Scott

Marcus Suvanto

Justin Tiedemann

Callum Wilson

Amy Wright

Holly Yurkoski

 

The renga form, meaning “linked poem,” developed eight hundred years ago in Japan as a collaborative composition. While waiting for formal poetry competitions to be judged (and drinking), poets worked in groups, taking turns composing alternating three-line and two-line stanzas. Linked together, renga were often hundreds of lines long.

To create a renga, one poet writes the first stanza, three lines long, with a total of seventeen sounds (in Japanese—in English, which doesn’t divide into syllables in the same way, we allow leeway). The next poet adds the second stanza, a couplet with seven syllables per line. The third stanza repeats the structure of the first and the fourth repeats the second, alternating in this pattern until the poem’s end.

Renga language is pastoral, incorporating at designated stanzas words and images associated with seasons, nature, and love. For the poem to achieve its trajectory, each poet’s new stanza leaps from the stanza preceding it.

Thanks to Marina Endicott.


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