Haiku v Senryu


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  1. #1

    Haiku v Senryu

    I am struggling to understand the difference between Haiku and Senryu. I've been trawling the net for a clear explanation of both (what they are or what they are not with clear examples) so I can differentiate between them.

    Any haiku or senryu gurus out there who would be willing to offer some advice on poems in the workshop? And/r can they offer some advice by way of example here, please?
    Last edited by PiP; January 25th, 2019 at 06:06 PM.
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by PiP View Post
    I am struggling to understand the difference between Haiku and Senryu. I've been trawling the net for a clear explanation of both (what they are or what they are not with clear examples) so I can differentiate between them.

    Any Haiku or Senryu gurus out there who would be willing to offer some advice on poems in the workshop? And/r can they offer some advice by way of example here, please?
    Not a guru here - and not a definitive point of view
    My understanding is that haiku are about nature and senryu are about human nature. I do see the potential for some overlap if human behaviour can be inferred by something that happens in nature.
    A lot of senryu are mistakenly referred to as haiku.

    Leaving aside the fact that I used the words April and spring, the one below could be either a haiku or a senryu. If read as a senryu, it's a bit racy. It can be read two totally different ways (which is why I wrote it). It's from an old NaPo challenge).

    glistening wetness
    beautiful April showers
    spring is in the air


  3. #3
    What a clever play on words! LoL

    Just focusing on writing Haiku at the moment so digging a little deeper I've just found some easy to follow points on this website.
    https://writingcooperative.com/how-t...u-fa5fe7792661


    1.
    ]A haiku is not usually all one sentence — rather, it is two parts. The easiest way to structure haiku for a beginner is to describe the setting in the first line, then the subject and action in the second and third lines. One line is usually a fragment — often the first line — while the other two lines are one phrase


    2.
    Written in present tense, haiku is meant to be “in the moment,” taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary.
    3.
    Poetic devices like metaphor, simile, etc are not used.


    4.
    Haiku is meant to be simple.
    5
    Capitalization is not necessary, and punctuation is minimal or not there at all as haiku are meant to feel open, almost unfinished.
    6.
    The poetry in haiku is created by juxtaposing the two parts to create resonance.


    7.
    Show; don’t tell. Haiku that merely describe a scene without creating any emotional resonance will be boring

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  4. #4
    Excellent work, Carole.
    The main surprise for me was in no. 1 "while the other two lines are one phrase".

    I always saw the first two lines as building up for a little twist in line 3.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine View Post
    Excellent work, Carole.
    The main surprise for me was in no. 1 "while the other two lines are one phrase".

    I always saw the first two lines as building up for a little twist in line 3.
    Good point! I think I read on another website they did. I'll do some further research.
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  6. #6
    Most of what English poets write when they think they are writing haiku is actually senryu. Neither haiku or senryu are capitalized. That would be like capitalizing the word “sonnet”.

    Haiku has a lot of rules but the main two rules seem to be the use of a seasonal image (not the month or the name of the season, but a reference to the season like “snow” or falling leaves). The second is the “cut” or “kiriji”, which often comes down to a single word where the poem changes direction or flips. The kiriji is the heart of the juxtaposition and usually occurs in the second line but sometimes in the third. Japanese scholars spend years studying kiriji words. Haiku is about nature, senryu is about the human condition and is much looser with rules. Seasonal reference and juxtaposition are not required.

    The other myth about haiku is that the syllable count must be 5-7-5, which has become a western genre in its own right, but 17 syllables is not what makes a haiku. Most Japanese haiku are actually shorter than than: 12 -13 syllables instead of 17.

  7. #7
    Haiku has a lot of rules but the main two rules seem to be the use of a seasonal image (not the month or the name of the season, but a reference to the season like “snow” or falling leaves).

    I was looking for some good examples of haiku and came across this
    Robert Oxnam
    President Emeritus, Asia Society

    Every haiku has two parts to it. It's divided in the middle by what's called a "cutting word". It's a structure that is designed to engage the reader and it permits multiple interpretations to this potent poetic form.

    Haiku Poem

    kareeda ni
    karasu no tomarikeri
    aki no kure



    on a bare branch
    a crow has alighted
    autumn evening 2

    Haruo Shirane
    The kigo, or seasonal word, is very obvious: it's the autumn. And there's what's called a kireji, or cutting word, in the middle and it comes right after "has alighted," "tomarikeri." So we have two parts to what's now called the haiku, but what was then called the hokku. "On a bare branch a crow has alighted" and then there's a break, and the second half is "autumn night fall" or "end of autumn."

    Now, the important part about the cut, the kireji, which cuts the two parts of the haiku is that it leaves the poem open for the reader to complete. So, it's like the linked verse. You have one verse, the verse is basically unfinished. The next person has to complete that by adding a verse. The same thing happens within the bounds of the haiku, or the hokku. The two parts are sliced in half and there's an open space which the reader, the audience, is supposed to enter into.
    The second is the “cut” or “kiriji”, which often comes down to a single word where the poem changes direction or flips. The kiriji is the heart of the juxtaposition and usually occurs in the second line but sometimes in the third. Japanese scholars spend years studying kiriji words.


    ~Tim, Please can you give us some examples?





    Last edited by PiP; January 26th, 2019 at 02:52 PM.
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  8. #8
    I don't know that specific words are designated as kiriji. I think it's more the relationship between words, i.e. the situation. My understanding is that the kiriji is like the pivot-point where the poem changes direction to ultimately form a paradox. It's interesting what the above passage says about leaving the poem open. That's a different perspective I've not seen before but it makes sense.

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