RSS

HAIKU – SENRYU DISTINCTION – A Twitter conversation

28 Apr
HAIKU – SENRYU DISTINCTION – A Twitter conversation


HAIKU – SENRYU DISTINCTION – A Twitter conversation.

In response to a comment on Twitter by another poet, I posted the following comments regarding the distinction between haiku and senryu. The comment was that many of Issa’s haiku seemed, to the commenter, to be senryu. My comments (edited only for comprehension – abbreviations, dropped articles, etc. for brevity) follow:

“May be. Haiku-senryu spectrum in my humble opinion has no bright line at center. Many poems are arguably both. “Nature” vs. “man in nature” is too shallow for me. I consider poems about human nature/foibles as senryu. On a practical level both haiku and senryu are haiku, I say. Of course, I am not dogmatic about that. My definition works for me. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I write in English. Re: haiku-senryu distinction in Japanese poetry, I leave the matter to those who write in Japanese. I’ve no dog in that race.

[The following poems are my own.]

baby food aisle
the woman standing still
her empty cart

Clearly senryu by my standards; yet, there are natural parallels of such loss.

*

blown by traffic
the wren’s wing in the gutter
flutters … flutters

To me, this is haiku but I can imagine arguments that it is senryu.

*

flying fishes
sea-wet yet sunlit
take me with you

This one is neither because it is both. This is why I don’t let the (haiku-senryu) distinction rule.

*

harvested field
faded mouse trails
follow the rows

To me, this is haiku & not at all senryu despite the human reference: ‘harvested rows.’

*

dishwasher explains
how good sauce is made—
the chef’s smile

This is an example of what I would consider to be senryu indubitably.

*

The senryu distinction is more interesting, of course, in the poetry of masters of verse on human nature such as @tankaqueen Alexis Rotella. By the way, for those who love senryu, a must-read is OUCH: Senryu That Bite by Alexis Rotella. It will be worth your time to find a copy. Regarding OUCH: Senryu That Bite” so you know what to look for (go to): http://poets.kohalibrary.com/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=83250

Another giant of senryu is Alan Pizzarelli. Check out his page on Wikipedia for a general introduction. He is the real deal regarding senryu.”

———-End of Twitter posts.———

htunchained

POSTSCRIPT: Please keep in mind that I am discussing above the distinction between haiku and senryu as I see it within the context of writing these poems in English. I am not commenting on their usages in Japanese poetry, in which the distinction is, I agree, a significant one. Furthermore, I do not mean to suggest that the distinction is without value in English haiku. Rather, I believe that the distinction, while of considerable interest to me (else I would not have founded and published the fine journal Prune Juice: Journal of Senryu and Kyoka), is not essential for poems written originally in English. I write senryu often enough, but personally consider it to be haiku in English. There are many very fine poets writing in English who probably disagree with me on this point. I completely respect opposing opinions. I have nothing against the concept / distinction of senryu but I adamantly believe in poetic freedom. That is why, for years, my poetry blog was named “Haiku Unchained” and, later, “Haiku and Tanka Unchained.” Haiku and tanka as poetry in English are new forms, perhaps a century old, and there is always the tendency for academicism (“traditionalism or conventionalism in art, literature, music, etc.”) to ossify formal verse. That tendency should be fought by all generations of poets. We must not allow rules to become chains.

Denis M. Garrison

Advertisements
 

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Lens and Pens by Sally

a weekly blog that creates a personal philosophy through photographs and words

Belinda Broughton

illustration, art n poetry (by Belinda Broughton)

Life After Carbs

A real person eating (mostly) real food

the other bunny

for the other kind of haibun

ideajunkyard

where all the trash in my head pours out as poetry. Enjoy!

Qaiser

"Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back." ... these are my songs and whispers.

Failed Haiku

A Journal of English Senryu

All Things Tanka

News and information about tanka

HeartBeatsBlue

an open journal

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

This is a writer's blog for authors, business people, creative people, freelancers, journalists, publishers, and poets. They will learn the ins and outs of writing for publication. Both beginning and experienced writers will profit from it.

jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

In The Hive

https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=from%3A%40Beezknez%20exclude%3Amentions Poetry Thoughts Stories Photo's Art (copyright by MyFreeCopyright.com

Bending moments

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

mcclintockpoemtree

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Lilly coyote's haiku den

Home to haiku, haibun, haiga, and a few stray poems

pauldavidmena

Just another WordPress.com site

Jars of Stars

... some of the best micropoetry from Twitter, kept alive in jars...

this empty nest

photos and images by angie werren

antantantantant

contemporary haiku since 1994

Martian

Truth is a pain to accept

THOTPURGE

Incomplete Thots...

Poeticadia

"As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug's game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing." T.S.Eliot

The Bonny Blog

photography ● poetry ● quotations

Awoodlandrose's Blog

The Poetry of Soil

tom clausen

poems and photos

%d bloggers like this: