Write Something Humorous, Publishable in Three Lines

Adobe Photoshop PDFYou can write “senryu,” a poem that is humorous in three lines. Some people pronounce it “sen-roo,” while others pronounce it “sen-ree-yoo.” It is actually a haiku that tells us a lot about human nature or human weaknesses.
It is enjoyable to read and write, and often allows us to laugh at ourselves.

It has the same form as haiku. You can read my other blogs about haiku.

The poems below have been published by talented, awarding-winning members of the Haiku Society of America. These poems illustrate that good observation is what writing senryu is all about.

family picnic
the new wife’s rump
bigger than mine
–Roberta Beary,
(The Unworn Necklace, 2007, 2011)

car wash tunnel . . .
making resolutions
for the new year
–Charlotte Digregorio, Asahi Haikuist Network, Jan. 15, 2005

grocery shopping–
pushing my cart faster
through feminine protection
–Michael Dylan Welch
First published in Fig Newtons: Senryu to Go (Foster City, California: Press Here, 1993).
Also published in the third edition of Cor van den Heuvel’s The Haiku Anthology (New York: Norton, 1999).

soggy cereal –
I mull over
the mail-in offer
–Sari Grandstaff, Spring/Summer 2006, Frogpond

straining to see
the title of his book—
Practical Ophthalmology
–Joe Kirschner, Frogpond, xxii:2, 1999

my swing partner’s
— Christopher Patchel,
bottle rockets #18, 2/2008

passing the cream puffs
the guest of honor full
of herself
–Francine Banwarth,
HPNC Senryu Contest 2007, 2nd place
The Red Moon Anthology, 2008

If you want to read skillful senryu, become a member of the Haiku Society of America. You will receive “Frogpond” three times a year. It is a book-length journal of haiku/senryu and essays. Other good haiku/senryu journals are “Modern Haiku” and “bottle rockets.”

Online, you can log onto “Blogging Along Tobacco Road.” It features interviews with haiku/senryu poets and samples of their work.


About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I am also the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I have signed books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won thirty-three poetry awards. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I am an internationally-published haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, haibun, free verse, acrostic, cinquain, etheree, and sestina poet. My poetry has been translated into six languages, and I have done poetry readings at a variety of bookstores, libraries, art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. My poetry has been displayed at supermarkets, art galleries, libraries, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I've been interviewed on cable television about my poetry. I also hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I was also self-employed as a communications/public relations/marketing consultant with 111 clients in 16 states. In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give special lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and to those at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and to libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America. Currently, I am Second Vice President of the Haiku Society.
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4 Responses to Write Something Humorous, Publishable in Three Lines

  1. Digital P0et says:

    Thank you for posting this. I enjoyed reading it very much. Checking up on peoples poetry and writing is something I do often. I try to keep up with today’s trends so I’m more active in the writing community. Thanks again for sharing this.

  2. Writing a poem in July’s merciless sun.
    It’s so too hot. Drip, drip.
    No more heat. This poem is done.

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