am continually amused at the interest in Senryu poetry. Here’s another poem by my father, although this one may not sit well with some of you…
A single uchiwa fan
First, the diction: uchiwaうちわ is an non-folding, usually round fan often associated with the Japanese summers and its festivals. This verse will rile some of you young ladies out there, but keep in mind that it was composed in 1939. According to my dad, “For newlyweds, one uchiwa is enough, but when they seek separate fans a cold breeze will blow through them.” What this means is that since newlyweds are still lovey-dovey, one will be fanning the other, but when each begins to fan themselves, then there is a coolness between them. This is a simple enough expression, except when I asked my dad who was fanning who, he gave the obvious–albeit, politically incorrect–answer for a man born in 1912: The new wife is fanning the husband, of course. For him, the image is of a man laying sideways with his head propped up in the palm of his hand while his wife sits behind him fanning him as they engage in small talk. Hahahaha. It cracks me up when he expresses things like this as if it were a matter of fact. My sister, of course, hates it. I, of course, am laughing at what my dad says but *ahem* it is not a reflection of what I think…
Anyway, the topic for this month is “to wait”. This is a verb and can be used in any way–past, present, future tense. Be sure to try to convey the essence of the topic: What does it mean to “wait”? How does “waiting” make you feel? What are the kinds of things you “wait” for?
As previously stated, be sure to create your poems in the 5-7-5 syllable count. Also remember that senryu is a textual “snapshot” of a moment. You should avoid abstract images, and instead convey whatever abstract emotion or sentiment through the images of the “moment.” Please read the poems and commentary from the last entry, especially the top three, which used specific images–vinyl seats, sea waves, frozen food labels–as vehicles to convey a moment in time and a sentiment. As always, PLEASE SUBMIT ONLY ONE SENRYU, rewrite it, edit it, think about it, AND THEN post it as a comment to THIS ENTRY.
For a refresher on the basics, read this. Rule of thumb. Maintain the syllable count, try to draw a picture that is evocative through text, and reflect a moving or insightful aspect of the topic, preferably in a comical way. All submissions must be in English, and should reflect the topic.
Topic: To wait.
This senryu salon is open to all subscribers. And I really engcourage all of you to compose a poem, even those who said “I can’t compose” or “I’m no good at poetry.” Well, let ME be the judge. Just follow the guidelines. Ganbatte!