During the Christmas break in 2008 my uOttawa colleague Seymour Mayne (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Mayne) and I set ourselves the project of writing linked haiku as a way of keeping in touch. The result was Bluestreak: a new Canadji (https://alteritas.net/pastis/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Blue-Streak-Mayne-Lang.pdf)
Ours was not a classic renga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renga) which consists of linked verse all right, but of stanzas of 5-7-5 mora or sound units, which we shall here call syllables. These were to be followed by two lines of 7-7. We were happy enough to write standard haiku without the intervening 7-7’s.
“Canadji” was his invention, playing off, if memory serves, my mention of a verse form I had imagined twenty years before with another poet friend, Richard Haly. He and I had thought of combining renga with terza rima and baptised our fantasy with the name of his late dog, Benji. I am still trying to write a complete hundred-line Benji. I’ll be reporting on that here soon.
In the meantime, here is a Blueprint for a Benji; here is the original Benji sketch.
Seymour and I did write Blue Streak, of which I’ve grown even fonder over the years, not only for “its own sake” – a definition as good as any for poetry – but for the memories of Ottawa and of the camaraderie they evoke.