jade-pandora's Workshop: Senryu

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:postit: 1 October 2008

This workshop is now CLOSED. Jade-Pandora is reading the entries and will comment on them on October 5. In the meanwhile, please take some time and offer critique to one of the 16 pieces submitted to the workshop:

Autumn Senryu 2 by 8ankH
Series of Senryu by Art-of-Hilt
Senryu Series I by AstarteKatz
Senryu by batousaijin
Summer Senryu by Elmara
senryu by fense
Senryu by GaioumonBatou
Senryu Workshop for Jade by HaikuKitty
Senryu by Keraness
Senryu by Kitz-the-Kitsune
Workshop Senryu by Laurence55
Senryu Soup by mintleaves
Workshop senryu set by RedDragonfly
Senryu Workshop by RetroZombie
Senryu by ria88
Algae Eater by TDKB

:postit: 30 September 2008

:bulletblue: Just a reminder, there is less than 24 hours until the sneryu workshop closes. Please get your entries in as soon as possible, thank you! :)

:postit: 26 September 2008

:bulletblue: Our workshop host has posted a helpful set of information on senryu in her journal for reference. It can be found here.

:postit: 21st September 2008

Jade-Pandora's Workshop: Senryu

Jade-Pandora has been writing for years, yet relatively recently compared to her time spent doing traditional art.  Writing was something she stumbled on, then forgot about for years, and then started again in 2001 in spite of having had no formal training writing prose or poetry.  Poetry came far more naturally.  

In 2003, deviantArt walked in.  The dark ages of her writing saw the light in 2007 when she found the October autumn Haikuwrimo hosted by MSJames, and thus began a new evolution of her style (“I have a style?”) of poetic expression which forever influenced her long verse as well.  Her progress has been helped along by the guidance of Laurence55 (previously published in Simply Haiku) who volunteered as her teacher in the style of haiku, tanka, and senryu.

Otherwise, when she’s not writing, she’s putting in serious hours 6 days a week as a real estate property manager in Los Angeles County, California.


Compared to other styles of poetry, there is comparatively little published about senryu.  This workshop endeavors to inform and encourage you in this aggressive form. Discussed here and on my journal page will be theory, history, and techniques, as well as concepts of senryu.  Also discussed will be the relationship between senryu and renga, and key differences between senryu and haiku.  Included will be senryu by both classic and modern masters.  I’ll make a journal update during the workshop to further discuss aspects of senryu to help motivate participating work-shoppers in their budding entrees.

Senryu is a Japanese form whose name means river willow. Senryu uses humor and satire to examine human society. Senryu takes on the form of haiku, but makes greater use of punctuation techniques (ellipses, exclamation, etc) to convey its point. Senryu can use seasonal kigo, but do not rely on them. In senryu, the seasonal reference should be second in importance to the human portrayal. Contrary to popular belief, not all senryu are humorous. Many express misfortune, eroticism, political views (very important), and even anger (observational….not overflowing emotion like tanka).  It is often bawdy, devoid of the subtle beauty known in haiku.  Animals can also be represented through interaction using human personifications.

Originating during Japan’s Edo period, senryu reflected both the societal and political turmoil of the time period. Popularized by a haijin named Senryū Karai, senryu was first recognized in the haiku contests going on in the cities. It was later given its own genre and studied alongside haiku and tanka.  

While following the form of haiku, senryu is different in that it is not a form in itself. Senryu is a concept, a way of looking at things that is applied to haiku form, and a poetic genre that concerns human nature in its complex layers and emotions.  More than being a style like haiku, known for its expression of nature within seasonal themes, senryu is a conceptual spinoff from haiku.

Since 2007, I’ve studied and written the Japanese styles of haiku, tanka, and senryu.  To understand all three gives a wider range for expression.  In the case of senryu, I become aware of my reactionary observations with the interaction of humanity from social and cultural influences.

Just as the host of a workshop stands to learn from those submitting their works for critique by that host, I eagerly anticipate seeing what work-shoppers contribute that will inspire me. I encourage you to give this workshop a try.  

What I want to see is at least two senryu pieces in your (singular) submission to Writers Workshop.  I feel one example may only prove a one-hit wonder at best.  With two (or three or four if you are inclined), I will have more to go on.  It will show if you have begun to interpret and understand senryu in your own voice.

Embrace what you feel about injustice, heartache, social foibles, the darkest heart of mankind, politics, love & passion; the list is almost endless.  Do it without apologies, using your best ironic spirit.  Throw a stone not into a pond for subtle effect, but directly at the reader’s head for high drama, humor; but most important -- have fun writing about it.  That’s senryu!

Here is a compilation of some of my senryu:

In addition, here are more examples of written pieces with the concept of senryu:




Here is an explanation of senryu by e-publication SimplyHaiku:

Some examples of senryu by the old masters:
From women: www.modernhaiku.org/essays/sen…
From men: raysweb.net/senryu/

How to Submit

After submitting your entry as a new deviation or scrap, send us a note with a link to your piece. Include the subject line "SENRYU" in your note. The deadline is midnight 1st October 2008. All times are set for GMT. Jade-Pandora will respond to the entries on 5 October 2008.

A note from Writers-Workshop Please note that this is a POETRY workshop, meaning that we will accept only poetry entries. Proofread your work before you send it in so that grammatical and spelling errors are minimal. And most of all, have fun with it!

:postit: On Accepting Critique

:bulletblue: Always thank the critic. This gratitude must be as sincere as possible, even if you did not like the critique given, because the critic has taken time to offer his/her opinion of the piece.
:bulletblue: If you do not like the critique, it is not necessary to mention so. Simply thank the critic and move on. You can always ignore their suggestions, while not making a scene of it.
:bulletblue: If you are unsure of what the critique means, feel free to ask the critic what s/he meant. Building rapport with your critic is one of the best ways to survive in a workshop and to learn. If you want examples, ask. Similarly, if you like the suggestions given, mention it. Critics have feelings too. :)
:bulletblue: In the unlikely case that a critic offers rude/sexist/racist/etc comments, feel free to contact Writers-Workshop in a note and we will try to help you. A decision regarding the rudeness of the critique will be taken, and if we're not sure ourselves, we will consult with one of the GDs or anyone else high up on deviantART.

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Jade-Pandora's avatar
As people are still referencing the information in my write-up regarding senryu, is there a way someone can fix the format of this particular journal page? It's very narrow and uncomfortable on the eyes for reading.

I would really appreciate the fix, please? Thank you in advance. :thanks: