Yesterday, 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.