This contest was sponsored
by the Atlantic Online's Word Games section. It is now closed. But enjoy!
(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)
This contest is inspired by WelchM (Michael Dylan Welch), a poet and haiku scholar whom your word-game hosts met in the Writers' Club on AOL. He is the editor of Woodnotes, a quarterly haiku and senryu magazine. In return for his inspiration, The Atlantic Monthly hereby offers WelchM the book of his choice from the Atlantic's online store.
Senryu, as WelchM has explained
to us, is a form of poetry very like haiku but with a dash of humorous irony.
follow below.) Such a poem typically
has three lines and a total of about 10 to 14 syllables in no fixed arrangement.
Rhymes and titles are not necessary and in fact are likely to be counterproductive.
The purpose is to convey an image, one with a wryly ironic twist. Here are
some examples written by WelchM displaying the great range of possibilities
for humor in this little verse form:
|after the verdict
|bending for a dime
|Mexican cantina --
the waiter says
|hazy summer afternoon
the smog-check mechanic
puffs a cigar
|her swollen head...
in a bikini --
|first confession --
his parking meter
|grocery shopping --
pushing my cart faster
through feminine protection
|express checkout --
the fat woman counts
the thin man's items
|visiting mother --
again she finds
my first grey hair
steps out from rehearsal
to view the eclipse
|afternoon mail --
the stamp from Australia
a wise man
loses his beard
the plant she left
grows on me
|clicking off the late
the couch cushion
|his favourite deli
the bald man finds a hair
in his soup
That should be enough to
give you the idea! To enter our senryu bash, mail your entry to CoxRathvon
(for non-AOL players, that's firstname.lastname@example.org).
Multiple entries are welcome, but for our convenience pack your poems into
one piece of e-mail whenever possible (and please don't use attached files).
We will send the collected entries to MWelch, who will act as Guest Host
and select his three favorite entries. Senders of those three poems will
5 free AOL hours (where applicable, and while they last!) and a free book
from The Atlantic Monthly.
"Senryu Contest" will remain open through Friday, November 15. Winners and full results will be posted on the Atlantic's site on Friday, November 21.
--EC and HR