Sorting Senyru from Haiku: it's Human Nature!

Sheila NewtonStarred Page By Sheila Newton, 4th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1ucje8b5/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

When is a Haiku not a Haiku? When it's a Senyru, or course!

Haiku and Senyru Differences and Similarities

George Swede of Toronto, Ontario, who co-founded Haiku Canada in 1977 and is active in the international haiku community, provides an answer to deciding the difference between haiku and senyru. After studying haiku types, he came to the conclusion that English-language haiku consist of "three content categories": nature haiku, human haiku (senryu), and human nature plus nature haiku (hybrids).
http://startag.tripod.com/HkSenDiff.html

Any clearer? I thought not! How about this definition then...

Senyru are like haiku, except they reveal an aspect of human nature juxtaposed with an image of nature. In contrast, haiku are short Japanese poems that invite us into a shared experience of nature. Both haiku and senryu are expressions of what is called the “haiku moment.” They are a moment of clarity that is similar to the meaning of 'awe' in English. They are simple poems that can often be said in one breath. In the Japanese tradition, seasonal words are associated with the haiku genre. The use of seasonal words may or may not be used in the senyru genre of poetry.
Go to: Ehow ...and click on 'How to Write Senyru'. Here's the link.
http://www.ehow.com

Clearer now? No? Me neither!

Well, the way I was taught, was that senyru is a three line poem of seventeen syllables, that include the poet’s take on aspects of human nature, intertwining notions of ‘nature’ into the text. I have no idea whether that’s right or wrong – but it’s my view, I’m sticking to it and I’m happy with it. Now, there’s a little touch of my human nature showing its bold face!

Enjoy my Senyru Selection.

Violence and Roses


In a writing group, I was given the theme of ‘human violence and roses’ to write a senyru. I wrote three of them.

I lie on thorn beds
You sit pretty on rose beds
I’m left to suffer

While I lay bleeding
on thorns, you on your rose bed
are knifed in the heart

On your bed of roses
you forget I lie on thorns
You deserve my pain

A Magical Forest, A Waterfall - and A Child at Play

The following three senyru offerings are based on a child’s imaginative play around the magical forest and waterfall at Hareshaw Linn, Northumberland National Park in the North East of England.


Fireflies dance, glitz-tipped
Dew-dropped waters shimmer
Dazzle sparkling sprites

Silver sun beams play
like pixies on the water
waving gold-flecked wands

Diamond clustered
icicles hang like daggers
Terror gleams snow white


Don't you just love Haiku with a bit of good old 'Human Nature' thrown into the pot for a bit of 'Excitement'?

Planet Poet Speaking Volumes

Planet Poet’s Tutorial give hints and tips on writing senyru that may make life easier for the poet wanting to wade through the minefield of this poetic form. Go to:

http://www.planetpoet.com/content/senyru-tutorial

They say:

"Senyru are usually written in the 3-line form, although variations in the amount of syllables per line are often acceptable. However, if you are entering your poem into a contest, your best chance of winning is to adhere to the recognized 5-7-5 form.

Here are some steps you may take, when undertaking the composition of a senyru:

• Observe what is going on around you. Capture how you are feeling at a precise moment, by making a note of it. Perhaps looking at people or listening to the news will spark a revelation, or evoke a reaction that is different and you will wish to make a poem of it.

• Consider the points you are trying to convey. There is no need for detail. The poet suggests; the readers connect. Make sure that your point is communicated.

• Use as few verbs as possible. Neither senyru nor haiku are action poems, they are more about being than doing.

• Using the three line form is preferable, however, if writing it all on one line conveys the meaning, then by all means, do so.

• The best way of learning to write senyru is to read the work of other poets. Read books and articles on haiku and senyru. When you find a senyru that you like, ask yourself why it speaks to you.


Writing three lines of poetry may seem like an easy task, especially when it does not even have to rhyme, but remember, you are not just writing three lines. You are encapsulating a moment in time, using language to convey the scene/event, in just seventeen syllables. That takes discipline.

There is nothing as satisfying as viewing a well written senyru that you are happy with. It may have taken hours to achieve the effect you wish to convey, but it is a labour of love."

Oh, Planet Poet, though my senyru compositions may not take all of your tips into consideration, you speak volumes.

Happy Senyru Writing, to Poets Everywhere...

Tags

Children, Definitions, Human Nature, Poetry About Life, Roses, Seasons, Violence

Meet the author

author avatar Sheila Newton
A retired nurse and teacher, with two cats, a husband and a grown up son, I write short stories, articles - and I'm an ardent blogger. Catch up with me on my blog at: http://sheilanewton.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar Carol
4th Sep 2011 (#)

This is lovely Sheila,and so are the pics. Well earned star!

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author avatar jayababy
5th Sep 2011 (#)

I never knew this. Very informative and congrats on the Star.

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author avatar Retired
5th Sep 2011 (#)

Nice one!!! Explore all sides of writing and you will finally find your niche in poetry writing. There is always one style that would help you write the best poetry. This is one is a descriptive short and sweet style which tells you facts as it is... :-)

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author avatar Carol Kinsman
5th Sep 2011 (#)

Nice lesson on haiku and senyru. Loved the poems, too. Congratulations on the well deserved star page, Sheila.

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author avatar Buzz
5th Sep 2011 (#)

Sheila, you look lovely! Thanks for this article on senyru and haiku and congrats on the star page.

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author avatar juny
5th Sep 2011 (#)

I understand "haiku" as 5-7-5..thu I don't understand much about it..
All I know is that , I love poetry and this is one good poem here and the photos are awesome :)

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author avatar Retired
5th Sep 2011 (#)

Good article and pics, too. Actually, senryu do not require imagery of nature. Usually they have an ironic or satirical tone.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
5th Sep 2011 (#)

Yes, you're right. Did you get the sitre and irony in my 'violence and roses' senyrus? Hope so!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
5th Sep 2011 (#)

Thanks to everyone who commented here (up to now - I'm hoping for MORE comments from my friends!)
Glad you like my page - and glad you like me pix. Thanks to Buzz for telling me I look LOVELY! Aah!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
6th Sep 2011 (#)

Wonderful!!! Shelia love your pictures and most wonderful poems...Just a superb article!:0)

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author avatar Songbird B
7th Sep 2011 (#)

Sheila, I really enjoy reading your work, and this article is just wonderful. I admire most those who teach me things that I have never known, and your page has done just that, my friend. I am but a simple poet...I write what my heart or wit dictates, but I stand in awe of those who have A great Star Page...and I agree, what a great photo of you too...

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author avatar Sheila Newton
7th Sep 2011 (#)

Ah, thank you Songbird, for your kind words. Glad you enjoy my work. I enjoy your work too. You might be a poet - but you are far from a SIMPLE one, my friend.

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author avatar Maria Malone
8th Sep 2011 (#)

Thank you for this informative article and wonderful nature pictures, well done!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
9th Sep 2011 (#)

Glad you liked it.

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author avatar strawberrychoco
7th Oct 2011 (#)

A very nice article to read. I also like the pictures you presented. Thanks for sharing!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
7th Oct 2011 (#)

Pleasure, honey.

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author avatar Bets
31st Oct 2011 (#)

I want to take more time at your page now that I am also following you. I knew the poetric types of writings, just had to refresh on the Senyru. I can relearn here, thank you. Good stuff written and thank you for commenting at my page. Now, my next venture; reading your "Violence and Roses" poem. If I may include, you may get a kick out of what I similarily wrote. Please indulge the read: "Life Between Thorns and Roses." Thank you and have a great fall season! Smiles, Bets

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author avatar Bets
31st Oct 2011 (#)

Enjoyed reading "Violence and Roses" Great senytu, I thought....good description between petals and thorns of roses. I know there is more to this which I cannot put into words. It is wonderfully penned! Smiles, Bets

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author avatar Bets
31st Oct 2011 (#)

"SENYRU" (typo)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
31st Oct 2011 (#)

Thanks, Bets, and hugs to you.

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author avatar Funom Makama
3rd Nov 2011 (#)

Senyru and Haiku? This is my first time of hearing such words. But your article has explained it all. I love those poems and here are two I formed. The first is about been meek (meekness), while the second is about Lust!

Though above the Law
and I suffer more
I'll be blind to see no flaw

As if drunk in wine
and dine in its cruelty
I covet you more
Funom Makam 2011 (C)
Hope they are nice... Keep it up My dear Sheila Newton.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
4th Nov 2011 (#)

bRILLIANT, Funom

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author avatar Funom Makama
6th Nov 2011 (#)

hehehehe~~~~ (Head Swelling)! Thanks Sheila Newton.

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author avatar Terry Chestnutt
27th Nov 2011 (#)

An excellent article that told much I did not know about both forms of poetry. It is very easy to read and crystal clear in its meanings. Thanks much.

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author avatar Clarence Schreiber
3rd Dec 2011 (#)

An awesome article follow by an awesome poem and more awesome pictures. You did a fabulous job with this one. One question if you live in Canada if know where Lake Labarge is in Canada?

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author avatar Sheila Newton
4th Dec 2011 (#)

No - never visited Canada. Not that I wouldn't LOVE to go there. It's on my wish-list!

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author avatar Retired
11th Dec 2011 (#)

you know sheila i read this one when i woke up and it really made my morning fresh and full of life...credit goes to you, thanks alot for sharing.
it's my dream to see waterfall in real time and hope so it'd come true sometime in near future..thanks to you that you shared a waterfalll picture. well, wht a beaufiful place that is where you are imagining something i wish i could be with you there!
thanks alot for your each and every word!!
TAKE CARE!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
11th Dec 2011 (#)

Well, what a fantastic commentary. I so appreciate this. Glad you liked it.

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author avatar arman123
27th Dec 2011 (#)

A deserving star .

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author avatar Sheila Newton
4th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you Arman. Nice to meet you.

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author avatar WordWulf
10th Jan 2012 (#)

Here I am, glad to stop by for a visit. Beautiful imagery here and words to match. I love haiku and you are adept at creating them. Thank-you for reading me:-)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
10th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Wordwulf. I so appreciate you dropping by.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
12th Jan 2012 (#)

I love nature.
I do love it
I promise it
I love it
I love nature
Mama
Nature How much I love you.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
12th Jan 2012 (#)

What a beautiful and poetic comment, Md. Luv ya lots!

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author avatar Denise O
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Well I didn't know the difference between senyru and haiku poems, now I do. Lovely poems, good writing and I just love the photos. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Cheers Denise.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks for clarifying the subtle differences, Sheila. And also for your lovely poems within. Though I have never tried poetry, I appreciate now one has to tread the waters with caution and respect! siva

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks for a gorgeous response, Siva, my friend.

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author avatar Audrey Howitt
21st Feb 2012 (#)

Just lovely work Sheila!

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