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Friday, December 21, 2007


Tomorrow is National Haiku Poetry Day. Haiku is a poetry form consisting of unrhymed verse with three lines. Traditionally, the three lines contain five, seven and five syllables, respectively, but many poems don’t follow that structure (such as the sample below). Haiku originated in Japan and usually has a seasonal reference. In the winter 2007 issue of Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry this haiku was written by Cathy Drinkwater Better:

sunset lake
a rabble of geese
lift off as one

A similar form of poetry consisting of three lines is senryu. The tone and subject matter of senryu poems are different from haiku. The focus of senryu poetry is human nature; senryu can be humorous, satirical or ironic. Samples of Senryu poetry can also be found in the Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry. This sample was written by Carol Raisfeld in the winter 2007 issue:

your attention, please!
who can fly this plane
and didn't have the fish?

Some people believe that haiku is a less intimidating, although more structured, type of poetry. Are you a poet at heart? Share one with us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Senryu (sort of ;-)

'Thanks for your hostility'
the foreign guest departs
the host in smiles