thought renga








On the evening of 10 October, we held a thought-renga at Tea Sutra, Newcastle. The event was part of the programme for the 2012 Philosophy Festival. The theme of this year's Festival was 'the self'.

What is a thought-renga? 

A thought-renga adopts the traditional Japanese renga form, but sightly lightens the emphasis on structure in favour of a more free-flowing sharing of ideas. Both are activities of collaborative writing. The thought-renga considers the possibility of borrowing an ancient poetic form as a mode of philosophical composition.

Much shorter than a traditional renga, our one-and-a-half hour event comprised six rounds of communal writing, each round taking a specific theme (sound, taste, sight, touch, smell, mind) inspired by the Festival's overall theme of 'the self'.

Below is the thought-renga produced by the group, which comprises six different participants' thoughts. In the right-hand margin is the theme of the round and the author of the chosen thought. Taken together, the sequence makes up a group thought-chain. 

Each participant had their own thought-renga booklet (shown above), in which to record their personal sequence of thoughts from the evening.

I am very grateful to my co-host Linda France, whose guidance was invaluable.






Collective: a thought-renga
Tea Sutra, 10 October 2012


form & movement                                               sound (Jez)
translated into sound
.


imagine these light bulbs
                                      taste (Wendy)
turning into lemons
.         


the blue hydrangea flirts                                       sight (Linda)
with the idea of being pink, ravished
by its own complexity
.

 
touch becomes audible                                          touch (Brian)
through the movement of pen
on paper
.


 
if I could smell                                                      smell (Vicky)
I would stop
looking
.


 
the whereness of self                                            mind (Lucille)
the whoness of other
.










.


OUT OF PRINT