I am in the process of publishing a book on verse, more particularly, "American Haiku and Senryu -- 1008 Pauses Along the Path" and I need to ascertain whether or not the title is appropriate, i.e. is the inclusion of the word Senryu necessary?

Does Haiku cover the following? (The first chapter contains traditional Haiku verse; the remainder of 5-7-5 form deals with non-nature, politics, man and woman and various observations.) Again, I wish to acknowledge the correct way to entitle the content.

  • 1
    (1) What is “u” in the title? (2) I think that you are asking how the words “haiku” and “senryu” are used in English, and therefore I am not sure how japanese.stackexchange.com can help you on this question. In Japanese, 俳句 (haiku) and 川柳 (senryū) are different, although both of them usually have the “5 morae - 7 morae - 5 morae” pattern. Nov 9, 2011 at 20:24
  • Hello Tsuyoshi,re #1, "u" is Haiku as shown in title; re #2, what I'm unsure of, is it correct to use both Haiku and Senryu in title or is just Haiku sufficient? Thank you for help. Sincerely, Nicolai.
    – Nicolai
    Nov 10, 2011 at 5:08
  • Tsuyoshi, thank you for reply. Sincerely, Nicolai.
    – Nicolai
    Nov 10, 2011 at 5:11
  • 2
    (1) “As shown in title”? I do not know what you are talking about. The title of your question does not contain the word “haiku.” (2) As I said, you are asking how the words are used in English, and I think that the question is off topic. Nov 10, 2011 at 6:04

1 Answer 1


If a large part of your book indeed covers non-nature, politics, relationships, etc, and they do not contain a "season word" then by strict definition of topic they are senryū. However, in the strictest sense, even English "topic-valid" haiku with a 季語 (season word) can be deemed not to be haiku if it doesn't have Kireji 切れ字.

I would respectfully suggest that the decision on a title is perhaps better based on what you believe the familiarity of your potential readers with Japanese poetry will be, rather than on literary accuracy. And good luck with your publication!

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