A few months ago I wrote, what I thought, was my first Haiku.
One commenter on the post pointed out the poem was not a Haiku in the traditional sense.
It appeared I had stumbled upon the Senryu.
So what is the difference?
There is much debate within poetry and academia as to the difference between Haiku and Senryu.
The Haiku Society of America defines the haiku as “a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.”
They define Senryu as “a poem, structurally similar to haiku, that highlights the foibles of human nature, usually in a humorous or satiric way.”
That’s that sorted; add a bit of satire or humour to a Haiku and you have a Senryu.
If only it was that simple. I have spent hours reading various essays, articles and websites debating the difference between the two forms and I am more confused than when I started.
Writing to the structure and framework of, for example a sonnet or a quatrain, is a great way to practice and develop the skill of poetry writing, but should it matter how we label or categorise the finished result?
At the end of the day it is all poetry.
I’m off to tackle the Haikai, Renku, Haibun and Hokku ………aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.
What are your thoughts on this. I’d love you to join the conversation.