#Haiku & #Senryu Poetry Forms

Now that I’ve got the 2019 Poet of the Week Compilation sorted, I wanted to talk more about writing and creating Haiku and Senryu in English with the traditional rules and what I call the “current” rules. Read my post here: 5/7/5 vs 3/5/3 & 2/3/2 Haiku & Senryu Styles for more information.

My challenge post for this week is Poet’s Choice, so this gives me an opportunity to go over the different forms.

HAIKU IN ENGLISH is written in these forms: Traditional form 5/7/5, Current 3/5/3, and Current 2/3/2 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about season changes, nature, and change in general.

I’ll write a Haiku in each form to illustrate. First 5/7/5 – traditional form:

white veiled clouds cluster
against a pale winter sky
the cold front arrives

Same Haiku in 3/5/3 current form:

white clouds drift
against a pale sky
cold rolls in

Haiku in 2/3/2 current form:

clouds drift
in pale sky
cold day

I will always be a traditional Haiku and Senryu writer. However, look at the evolution of this poem. I can see why many poets believe the 3/5/3 and 2/3/2 form better illustrate Japanese Haiku. The brevity is stark! One of the reasons I love the traditional style is because of the extra syllables. It allows the poet to share their experience by showing and not telling.

SENRYU IN ENGLISH is written in these forms: Traditional 5/7/5, Current 3/5/3, and Current 2/3/2 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and should have irony present.

I’ll write a Senryu in each form to illustrate. First 5/7/5 – traditional form:

Strumming my guitar
a love song slips from my lips
she’s found a new love

Same Senryu in 3/5/3 form:

guitar strums
love song serenade
my love leaves

Senryu in 2/3/2 form:

guitar 
serenade
love lost

Once again, the brevity of words is profound in the evolution of the three Senryu. The irony of singing a love song when your lover leaves you for another does come through in the meaning of each version.

How you decide to write your Haiku and Senryu is up to you. I prefer to write in a more traditional form, but my challenge will accept any of the three forms.

Review the differences between Haiku and Senryu:

Get busy and write some syllabic poetry!

© Colleen M. Chesebro and colleenchesebro.com, 2014–2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Colleen M. Chesebro.

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