Sample Senryu Worksheet
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By Brenda B. Covert
1 If you can count syllables, you can write a senryu [Sen-REOO]. It doesn't rhyme, and it doesn't need a title. Senryu is a Japanese form of poetry similar to the haiku, since it is made up of only three lines with the same syllable pattern of 5-7-5. It is the subject matter that makes a senryu different. While a haiku deals with nature and seasons, a senryu dwells on people matters; it can even be funny!
2 First let's look at how a senryu breaks down into a total of seventeen syllables.
|I doze on the couch. ||5 -I/doze/on/the/couch.|
|The cat moves in, making a ||7 -The/cat/moves/in/ma/king/a|
|Bed of my stomach. ||5 -Bed/of/my/sto/mach.|
3 How do you think the author feels about having a cat sleep on her stomach?
4 Let's write a senryu together. We'll describe a child eating an ice cream cone. For the first line, you will need to provide two syllables, and I'll provide three. You may choose two one-syllable words or one two-syllable word.
| Pink tongue licks _________________|
Paragraphs 5 to 11:
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