Fight Holiday Blues: Haiku/Senryu Part 2

Adobe Photoshop PDFYesterday, I received a lot of responses and likes for my post, “A Reflective Time to Rid Yourselves of Holiday Blues: Write Haiku.” I’m doing a followup today to give you more food for thought along these lines. Haiku is becoming a worldwide fad, written in dozens of languages.

A lot of the haiku I write is senryu. Senryu is human nature haiku that is often humorous. At open mics, I hear many senryu that aren’t really senryu. Senryu is not tasteless humor. It often has irony, satire, and wordplay. It is never insulting or offensive–just light humor. It is artful, just like the haiku about nature and the seasons. Haiku can really be written about anything.

Here is an example of holiday senryu from the appendix of my how-to guide, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All:

“Season’s Greetings” . . .

braggart’s annual letter

fuels the yule log

This senryu was written by me. I think most of us can relate to the above senryu, as we’ve received the annoying annual holiday letters, sometimes from braggarts, about all their doings during the year. I end up tossing those letters in the fireplace because I get so annoyed. (Not recommended, though, because paper can clog the flue).

This senryu works because I’m not stating that I am mad, but I’m showing it through the image. The reader can relate, imagining my emotions. Remember that haiku and senryu are imagistic poems, and they must be evocative.

See the humor in life, even when the holidays are getting to be too much for you. We, as writers,  tend to be introspective. This can be good and bad. We don’t want to get too introspective especially during the holidays.

Here is another holiday senryu, written by me, also from my book’s appendix:

after confession . . .

eating christmas fudge

from the monks

The above senryu plays on the fact that we over-indulge during the holidays. In this instance, the monks, who are supposed to lead non–indulgent lifestyles, are tempting us with gluttony. Again, it’s all in good humor!

I’m not advocating that when you go to holiday parties you should sit in the corner and not eat food or party, and just write haiku and senryu. But, as any writer, be aware of life around you at all times, as an idea for a poem may come to you when you least expect it!

Incidentally, my book is instructive, and it contains analysis of dozens of haiku and senryu written by expert haikuists. It is a basic guide for all, and it even has information on how to teach haiku and senryu to students and adults.

Copyright 2014 by Charlotte Digregorio.

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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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