Senryu, ‘river willow’, is a form of Japanese poetry similar to haiku in structure, yet with cynical, humorous or satirical characteristics. In some cases, the difference can be difficult to discern.
There has been a recent surge in the popularity of haiku poetry in Western culture, also of senryu by association. It is fairly commonplace to find haiku and senryu online groups, forums and competitions – see “Mad Men Haiku Contest…” and “Haiku Reviews: Peter Frank and George Heymont On Theatre And Painting“.
“Poetry for a Night Owl” is a weblog devoted to a variety of eastern styles of verse tagged “senryu” on Technorati.
Perfecting this style of poetry requires continuing practice. Throughout Asian cultural history, much importance rode upon one’s literary abilities and its development a life-long pursuit, eventually influencing a person’s thought patterns.
“Leaves” is one example of this author’s early attempts at senryu. Once you get into it, it can be rather fun.