Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Haiku, Senryu, and Haiga


As part of my experimentation in writing haiku on twitter, I've been reading about haiku and a related type of Japanese poetry, senryu. In essence, a haiku is a Japanese poem of 17 kana (or less) which focuses on nature. In English and other foreign languages, that usually means three lines in a pattern of 5 - 7 - 5 syllables. Senryu follow the same sort of syllable pattern, but instead of focusing on nature, they are about human nature or politics, and often have a humorous or sarcastic tone.

Haiku inspired a type of Japanese artwork called Haiga, where the poem was written in beautiful calligraphy with an accompanying drawing or painting. The artwork and the poem give depth to each other, by reflecting or complimenting each other's images or tone. While traditional haiga were paintings, modern poets/artists often use photography or digital imagery.

In addition to writing my own haiku or senryu, I've also been reading lots of poems by other writers. With their permission, I've included a few of my favorites here:

By my husband David (I added a picture to this one to make a haiga):


When I wake to find
That most reaffirming smile
All dark is made light



By Grace Wagner:

You say I'm grown-up
But sometimes I am a child
Who's just pretending

By Lealia N:

Dark clouds above trees
Slowly golden rays emerge
Happy smiling sun

Here are some more of my haiku or senryu:


Scientific thought
Gives us our great advances
Why then distrust it?


Music of Mozart
Listening is thoughtful joy
Pure grace, brilliance


A heavy downpour
Sound of thunder near
Now the breeze is cool


Hum of insects
Singing birds
Calm of rain


Buzzing cicadas
Dappled sunlight through green leaves
Forest in summer


Tell me a story
As I listen intently
Awake to new thought


Nurse hungry infant
Rain thrums against the windows
Quiet afternoon



Man on bended knee
Makes a fateful proposal
Hoping for a yes

Public Library
Respite from ignorance
Quietly reading

Day after childbirth
Body aching from incisions
Taunted for my weight

Other Poetry Posts:


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