Senryu is a short poetic genre which focuses on people. Men, women, husbands, wives, children and relatives. It portrays the characteristics of human beings and psychology of the human mind. Even when senryu depict living things such as animals, insects, and plant life, or when they depict inanimate objects, they are portrayed with the emphasis on their human attributes.
The senryu can make use of poetic devices such as simile, personification, and metaphor. It can also employ puns, parody and satire. Unlike haiku, senryu are not reliant on a seasonal or nature reference, but they DO occasionally use them. When they do, it is secondary to the human comedy or drama underlying the poem.
Senryu are not all strictly intended to be humorous. Many senryu express the misfortunes, the hardships and woe of humanity.
As a poet, I have always found that one of the best ways to understand a particular poetic form is to read fine examples of the poetry itself. As editor, it is my intention to select the best possible examples of authentic English-language senryu that span the full range of the genre, in an effort to promote a better understanding and appreciation of senryu poetry.
~ Al Pizzarelli
Copyright 2006: Simply Haiku