I never know
where to put my hands
© Tia Haynes (USA)
Failed Haiku, Vol. 2, Issue 20, 2017
This senryu has a significant breadth of meaning. On one hand, it brings about a feeling of mystery, where one does not know where the narrator’s hands will go. This type of mystery can put the reader in a state of pure consciousness, as thought cannot comprehend it. Another interpretation is that it is expressing the nervousness we feel in group environments, even groups that are aimed at support (we have all felt this nervousness within groups, and therefore this makes this senryu highly relatable). Lastly, it could be about how people need support equally, and to know who to give aid to is difficult to determine. This could also relate to self-help and collective help. Sometimes, it is hard to decide if we should give support to ourselves or others first.
I think the lack of punctuation works well, as a clear separation between the parts are made between line 1 and line 2 (though traditionally, senryu didn’t use kireji). Also, intuitively, the structure works better with “support group” as line 1 rather than as line 3. Making “support group” line 3 would have made the lines more normal in the short/long/short structure; however, this senryu has more impact and sounds better in the form it is now. At times, you have to use your gut when formatting a senryu or haiku.
Looking at the sound of this senryu, the most prominent sonic features are the letter “o” and “p.” The letter “o” gives an emphasis on the emotion behind the senryu, and perhaps the letter “p” adds importance to the action within the poem. Whatever the interpretation, the author has made this an aesthetic senryu through the use of sound.
A poignant, introspective senryu.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)
Do you enjoy this senryu? You can tell us why in the comment section.