WD Poetic Form Challenge: Senryu

It’s been two months since our last poetic form challenge and the April PAD Challenge is over, so let’s get another one started.

This time around, the challenge is to write senryu, which is a variation of the haiku. As with haiku, senryu are most often 3-line poems containing 17 (or fewer) syllables–often in a 5-7-5 pattern. Senryu does not include a cutting or seasonal word, and it’s usually about human issues (not nature, as is the case with haiku).

In fact, many people write poems that they call haiku that are really senryu. So in a way, it’s a form of poetry that is often suffering from identity theft and mistaken identity.

OK, so that’s the form.

Here are the guidelines for competing in this challenge:

  • Write and share original and previously unpublished senryu in the comments below (on this specific post).
  • Deadline for entries: May 31, 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, Georgia time).
  • No entry fee.
  • Include your name as you would like it to appear in print (just in case you’re chosen as a winner).
  • Speaking of winners, the top senryu (and maybe a few extra, since the form is so short) will be published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine in the Poetic Asides Inkwell column.
  • Anyone and everyone (from any location on the globe) is encouraged to participate. It’s free and fun.
  • Note to new poets: You’ll have to register on the site (don’t worry; it’s free) to comment. And for your first few comments, you may have to wait for one of us editors to approve your comment. Don’t worry; we’ll get to you–and then, after that first approval, you should be good to go into the future.

Good luck!


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487 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Senryu

  1. DanielAri

    __corporate office coffee pot signage__

    Somebody brewed you
    a cup of coffee. Won’t you
    return the favor?

    Dorgo, Patron Saint
    Of Coffee, smiles upon those
    who refill the pot.

    Just one heaping scoop
    and a flip of the switch—that’s
    how you share the love.

    We haven’t hired a
    Chief Java Officer, so
    it falls to us all.

    It won’t make itself.
    If you take the last drop, please
    put on a fresh pot.

    Too weak? Too dark? There’s
    just one way to get it just
    the way you want it.

    If you’re too busy
    to make it, then are you too
    busy to drink it?

    Thank you for all the
    great work you do here. Now make
    some goddamn coffee.

  2. ThePurpleStickyNote

    All these syllables
    cannot contain my awesome
    but give you a glimpse

    Encouraging friends
    will challenge you to be more
    than you could have dreamed

    -Samantha Bell


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