Senryu


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Thread: Senryu

  1. #1

    Senryu

    the elevator
    rose quickly to the top floor;
    no one died that day.

  2. #2
    Science is wary
    elevated though it is.
    Call statisticians!
    Kind regards,
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    Choreographing Calligraphy


  3. #3
    Found senryu thread online
    Tried to emulate
    Inspiration failed

  4. #4
    Hi,cheers, thanks
    yes, no, perhaps - maybe.
    You decide.

    Hi Tim - Cheers for the poem. I had seen a thread about senryu vs haiku but not read it, so these are the first I've seen. I tried one, but have most likely got it wrong. Thanks, for I like the form and thought your poem, precise and witty. Yes it speaks of the human condition and no I didn't think it too short. The humour to me was very British, perhaps this is why I like it so much. Maybe I will try some of my own. Cheers PG

    edit - I change my senryu
    Last edited by petergrimes; September 5th, 2020 at 12:53 PM.
    'I don't know what I'm doing'

  5. #5
    I put this senryu up in response to Carole (Pip) who had asked to see some of mine. I just wrote this one in the moment. The discussion I was trying to promote at the time on Carole’s thread was the concept of “kiriji” in haiku. Kiriji is central to haiku or senryu. It separates the poem into two balanced parts and creates a yin/yang relationship. The two parts are generally antithesis or paradox which form two parts of a whole. The first part is the opening, the kiriji is the turn, and the second part is the close. In Japanese, the kiriji or turn is usually a single word, called the “cut word”. English is structured differently. We don’t have words that also serve as punctuation (unless you call conjunctive punctuation). So, in English, the cut, or “kiriji” is formed by punctuation: a comma, dash or semi-colon. As Bob points out above, this punctuation can also be implied through a line break or midline break of some kind but it takes a bit of skill to make that cut obvious if there is not punctuation.

    The two senryu put up here by Stahl and Peter do not show clear antithesis between two parts. There is not a clear yin/yang structure. These two pieces are more like a thread where one line leads into the next. It is more like a story structure or narrative. The important thing is to create tension between the two parts through the use of imagery.
    Last edited by TL Murphy; September 4th, 2020 at 06:10 PM.

  6. #6
    Been doing haiku/senryu for well over thirty years and there's a myriad of how too's, what to do, not to do, punctuation vs no punctuation, what type of punctuation is proper, English vs Japanese, vowels and so on and on and on, so I will not be doing a step by step how to. I'll just write about what I like and don't like about these two. Yours and Pulse's. Stahl although a nice attempt needs to study the basic rules and peter's attempt showed a lack of understanding about the form but he's a fast fast learner.


    the elevator
    rose quickly to the top floor;
    no one died that day.

    This is a senryu through and through, correct punctuation, cut - and portrays a slice of life moment. It's decent, but it doesn't pop. It's not memorable or enlightening, humorous or a political social or religious statement. It's mundane and that probably was your intention. One rides the elevator to the top and no one died that day from an accident, or various other things that can make you die while riding an elevator. I'm saying it doesn't pop but for what it is, it's very good statement on the mundane. This is proper senryu.

    Science is wary
    elevated though it is.
    Call statisticians!

    This is upside down. the cut should be on the 1st or second line. This is not a proper senryu but a variation. Although I'm avid crusader when it comes to variations, this for me doesn't work. Never liked capitalization on haiku/senryu, not pleasing to the eye or giving off a meditative feel. When you put the cut on the first line, take out the capitol letters, then this works. It become a pretty good senryu. In this case your variation makes it a poor senryu. The imagery is confusing.

    call statisticians!
    science is wary
    elevated though it is
    Last edited by rcallaci; September 4th, 2020 at 07:12 PM.
    Nature weeps, the devil sings
    at mans greed and pride
    and what it brings

    Just lots of useless
    little things

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rcallaci View Post
    This is a senryu through and through, correct punctuation, cut - and portrays a slice of life moment. It's decent, but it doesn't pop. It's not memorable or enlightening, humorous or a political social or religious statement. It's mundane and that probably was your intention.
    Maybe we should start a thread in Poetry Nuts and Bolds regarding what makes GOOD Senryu so everyone can particpate. Your words: memorable or enlightening, humorous or a political social or religious statement is what I am trying to achieve.

    In Tim's poem above the 'pop' was too subtle and I lost the message (sorry, Tim)

    Haiku to me is a different beast and one I need to injest separately. For me, Haiku is a moment caught in meditation.
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  8. #8
    There’s really no message, Carole. There is the juxtaposition of an elevator rising to the top floor on a day that no one died. These are two images that would not normally be associated so when you put them side by side there is a surprise that causes the reader to look for meaning in the statement. Of course, there is no reason why they would not be associated. Death could have happened on the elevator, or on the top floor, or somewhere else all together. But on this day, it didn’t. There is as much meaning there as you put into looking for meaning. Is the elevator a metaphor? Is the top floor a metaphor? You tell me.

  9. #9
    Now I am confused, If there is no message, however the reader interprets, then surely it has no soul. No roots. Like trees and roots. Or icebergs. They have depth. Otherwise the senryu or indeed haiku could just be a table. It has no depth beyond what you can see. Sorry, I am not explaining myself well..
    Last edited by PiP; September 5th, 2020 at 06:04 AM.
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  10. #10
    What it means is that there is no hidden meaning. What you see is what you get.
    The reader can interpret and adhere their own meaning, that is fine.
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