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Haikus and Senryus

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Haiku/ Senryu

The moon shining through the branches of an Ash Tree


the moon shining through

the branches of an ash tree

a shattered flower


Haiku is a verse form of almost unfathomable brevity, exploring a moment’s meticulous perception and coexisting depths. It is a process of deep seeing and hearing, through which all things will “speak with and through you”.(Basho) When drafting these short poems, the focus is on the quality of attention and the permeability of the process rather than the product.

For me, haiku is an expression of the glimmering transparency of each moment through a handful of mostly ordinary words, subtle examinations of the expression of reality in a single motion of an ink brush.

“Seen truly, he taught, there is nothing that does not become a flower or a moon.” ( Jane Hirshfield, referring to Basho)

Haiku, poetry, Srenyu, Louisa Punt-Fouche, Fence of Fears, Carrying Sand, Riverine Rabbit, reading, books, Karoo Pilgrimage, Art, words, expression, 

A Haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poetic form that consists of seventeen syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. A haiku expresses much and suggests more in the fewest possible words. The form gained distinction in the 17th century when Basho, a Japanese poet considered the greatest practitioner of the form, elevated it to a highly refined art. It remains Japan’s most popular poetic form. The Imagist poets (1912–30) and others have imitated the form in English and other languages. It most often refers to seasonal changes and nature. Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

A Senryu is a 3-line unrhymed Japanese poem structurally like a haiku but treating human nature usually in an ironic or satiric vein. The construction is the same -- three lines, 17 syllables, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line and five in the third line - but the tone and subject matter of a senryu is different.

Mary Colurso |, al, 19 Nov. 2020

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