#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY STARS | Specific Form: #Haiku & #Senryu

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge was to work with the specific forms of Haiku and Senryu in English. These forms have rules. They are not just seventeen-syllable poems as most of you found out this week.

I understand many of you do not write your poetry for anything other than your personal enjoyment, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when you label your poem as a haiku or senryu, (and not a seventeen-syllable poem) you should follow the rules… especially if you enter these poems in contests, or for publication in journals or anthologies. Also, anything published on your blog is a form of publication which is something to be mindful of.

We use the 5-7-5 form to practice with because it makes the composition easier with more syllables, and when you’re learning that’s a huge help. When you are writing haiku or senryu for contests or for submission to journals always use the short-long-short form, not the 5-7-5.

I’ve changed the Poetry Cheat-sheet to reflect the addition of a “seventeen-syllable poem” to use if your intent is to just have fun and not follow the rules of haiku or senryu. That takes the pressure off!

The biggest takeaway from this week should be learning what the juxtaposition was in haiku and senryu. Remember, combine lines one and two, first. Are you left with a coherent message? Next, take lines two and three. Do you get a different meaning from these lines? If so, you’ve created juxtaposition!

Here is Reena Saxeena’s senryu poem:

love rules
hearts, then minds
-let go

©2021 Reena Saxeena

Lines one and two: “love rules, hearts, then minds”

Lines two and three: “hearts, then minds—let go”

There are two distinct messages in this poem that merge and flow into the last line—let go! What a great message this is!

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Erlyn Olivia10.Reena Saxena19.Kerfe Roig
2.anita dawes11.Ritu Bhathal20.Colleen Chesebro
3.Padre12.theindieshe21.Ruth Scribbles
4.Trent McDonald13.Pat22.s. s.
5.Jules14.Donna Matthews23.Selma
6.willowdot2115.Laura McHarrie24.kat
7.Annette Rochelle Aben16.Selma25.Sally Cronin
8.D. L. Finn17.Heather26.kittysverses
9.Gwen Plano18.Ken Gierke / rivrvlogr27.

There some other great haiku and senryu, as well:

Ruth Scribbles

Ken Gierke / rivrvlogr


As many of you already know, my newest book, “Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” is a bit closer to becoming a reality.

Last Monday, I sent the book off to my editor. I also want to thank Frank J. Tassone, my mentor, and American Haijin, for kindly editing the Japanese forms in this book. His help and kindness have been invaluable. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the book and when to expect publication.

I have another surprise up my sleeve… stay tuned for more of that news next month!

Our two new fur-babies come home today! Welcome, Chloe and Sophie! I’ll share photos tomorrow! ❤

Published by Colleen M. Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft Poetry.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

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