I went back to Writers Café , an old writing site I use to frequent six years ago. One of the writers, “Rock and Roll Cowboy”  is now writing haiku. When I complimented his work he told me it’s a Senryu. He and another writer share the differences with me. I also went to Wikipedia and picked out what I found relevant to me. So here is what I discovered.
HAIKU is a major form of Japanese verse. It contains 3 main qualities.
1. On (Japanese_prosody) It is written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.
2. Kigo  It employs highly evocative illusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of its seasons.
3.  Kireji (切れ字 lit. “cutting word”) is a special category of words used in haiku and other types of Japanese traditional poetry. It is regarded as a requirement in traditional haiku. There is no exact equivalent of kireji in English, and its function can be difficult to define. However it is said to supply structural support to the verse.
a. When placed at the end of a verse, it provides a dignified ending, concluding the verse with a heightened sense of closure.
b. Used in the middle of a verse, it briefly cuts the stream of thought, indicating that the verse consists of two thoughts half independent of each other. In such a position, it indicates a pause, both

rhythmically and grammatically, and may lend an emotional flavor to the phrase preceding it.

SENRYU  is a three-line un-rhymed Japanese poem structurally similar to a haiku. Differing by treating human nature usually in an ironic or satiric vein. It is also unlike haiku in that it usually does not have any references to the seasons. Senryu was developed from haiku and became especially popular among the common people about the 18th century. It was named for Karai Hachiemon (pen name Senryu), one of the most popular practitioners of the form. Senryu are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious.  Unlike haiku, senryu do not include a kireji (cutting word), and do not generally include a kigo, or season word.

Okay now that I share the difference between Haiku and Senryu will you take the challenge and give me a sample of each?

My samples are:


The sweet scent of spring
Hides beneath the cold winter
The place some like it


Cheering the Ravens
Hope the forty-niners’ lose
Totally destroyed

27 thoughts on “HAIKU vs. SENRYU

  1. Great post. I never new the latter existed. This was fun 🙂

    sunless breeze so cold
    spring has yet to come no doubt
    a rose i shall smell

    tip toe look who’s here
    green eyes olive skin black curls
    dancing in the wind

      1. Ha, Ima need it, Im struggling with haiku, so to know they are call two different things is like woah right now. How are you btw… Hope all is well on your end.. God Bless 🙂

    1. I don’t watch but hopefully I’ll catch some of the commercials. 🙂 I’m only rooting for them because of Michael Ohor and the other player that went through hard times and found sanctions with a family totally different from what they knew. I want them to win to show other kids that are struggling through life that things can change and get better. 🙂 My brother is rooting for them too. 🙂

        1. I hope the same for you that you find something worthy of your time as well.This blog gets a lot of my time. I try to read and write a lot. I like sharing my writing and have people read and give feed back. I know it’s wrong but I like having my ego stroked. I am after all human and always on a quest for greater enlightenment.

  2. Thanks for the poetry lesson.
    But – I’m a bad student & probably will default to calling it Haiku no matter what 😉
    Since our football team is out – our household considers football season done – LOL
    So – no football here this weekend.
    Happy weekend 🙂

    1. Just take the challenge. Basically Haiku is about nature and everything else is Senryu.

      I don’t do football but every few years Super Bowl Sunday falls on my birthday. This year it does.

      I’m for the Ravens because of the story about the character in The Blind Side Michael Oher and the other guy on his team who had almost the same kind of up bringing. Which doesn’t really matter I just want to see the commercials and I’ll watch them on YouTube. I don’t like the players hitting into each others. However I like watching them run down the field and everyone trying to stop them. You know the best part of football movies those extraordinary plays. 🙂

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