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What Nature?a Senyru Collection

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.

Originally published at /

Originally published at /

senryu -- the other "Haiku"


The synthetic grass

gets praised by those who don’t know.

Everybody’s fooled!


The rolling green hills

under blue skies, puffy clouds

-- Perfect screensaver.


Blistering hot days!

Don’t mean a thing when you have

air conditioning.


Oh, how it’s handy!

To have a garden hose to

quench desert gardens.


It’s strange to see trails

With people walking on them

When there are cars, trains.



The Human Comedy

Facts about Senryu (sen rue)

Senryu and Haiku are similar in many respects. They are derived from the Japanese haikai-no-renga tradition, and they are three-line syllabic poems using a five-seven-five format.

The differences, however, has to do with where it originated in a renga (a full narrative syllabic poem with three line five-seven-five stanzas) and its subject matter.

Haiku were originally known as Hokku (translated as starting verse) of a renga. Senryu would often be found in the middle stanza.

By the time, the haikai-no-renga tradition came into practice, haiku and senryu became distinctive poems (as the name implies these formats were not part of a larger piece such as a renga).

Haiku focused on nature. Senryu was about humor. As these forms of Japanese poetry grew in popularity around the world, as well as in Japan, Senryu became ironic and satirical in nature. Also, they moved away from being based in nature to tackling other subject matters. In many respects, senryu became quick, important tools for poets to make social commentaries.

Other "Haiku-Inspired" Poem

  • When the Devil Winds Blow
    A poem about about the fire season in Southern California. Also, some information on the poem's format known as Haibun.

© 2012 Dean Traylor

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