Senryu : salad

Salad and snippets
zinging bites of modern love
no seasons, just truth

I loved Salad Anniversary by Machi Tawara (read it when I taught English in Japan in my 20s). At age 25, Machi revitalized tanka when her poetry captured modern love and life in zinging bites as her emotions pingponged from joy to sorrow.

If you look at her poems, they have no season/nature word but instead encapsulate human nature. Her book, although tanka, was the beginning of my discovering senryu because until then I thought Japanese poems used nature to indirectly reference human nature.

Salad Anniversary (Pushkin Collection)
Machi’s poetry goes directly to the human heart. Here’s a sample of A Salad Anniversary excerpt by Machi Tawara, translated into English by Juliet Winters Carpenter:

Our coffee, always “American”,
hearts in love think alike —
or cancel each other out

Here’s another:

One basket 100 yen
Tomatoes lined up at the shopfront
wear a disgruntled look

I love the punch her third line often carried and the way she created visuals.  I can see those tomatoes.

Are there haiku / senryu / tanka / haibun poets that you like?  Doesn’t have to be in book form because so many of us are writing on blogs and/or social media.

photo & senryu by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved.
Also published on Instagram under  @cactus_haiku
I published this essay within a long post in 2017 that wandered all over the place.  It’s one of my favorite posts but looking at it now, I realize it’s really three or four posts so here I am splitting it.

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