The Tadpole Society

moments in our lives
haiku, senryu, tanka
jump into our pond

Think that haiku is just a short poem with 3 lines of 5/7/5 syllables originating in Japan? Join this circle to learn the intricate meaning of haiku, senryu, and tanka in the English language today, and to explore and write ever more perceptively in these magical forms.

Haiku & Senryu & Tanka: official DEFINITION - 08/01/2004
by Agnes Eva


Definition: A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.


Definition: A senryu is a poem, structurally similar to haiku, that highlights the foibles of human nature, usually in a humorous or satiric way.


Definition: Tanka in English have generally been in five lines with a total of thirty-one or fewer syllables, often observing a short, long, short, long, long pattern. It has always been a poem of feelings, often involving metaphor and other figurative language (not generally used in haiku).

(Definitions courtesy of HSA & William J. Higginson)

July Kukai - a celebration of colors: new contest- winners announced - 08/01/2004
by Agnes Eva

Congrats to Maureen Glaude, who won the most recent kukai (anonymous voting contest), which focused on colors in haiku. Below are the top 3 poems:

FIRST PLACE: Maureen Glaude

pink cancer ribbons
over our breasts -
at her wake


morning rain
reflected in a jellyfish -


cold rain
the Valentine paper heart
glows red

Tips for Haiku writing - 12/04/2003
by Agnes Eva

Make sure to check out the forum page for more on the definition of haiku: in the Tips from Masters section, and our fellow members' recommendations, as well as any exercises that get posted. The featured poems for now are Haiku of the Day, chosen for their exemplary sensibility of the complexity of haiku, according to the definitions the published haiku world today puts forth. I hope they will inspire writers to formulate an idea of what haiku should strive to do. The more good haiku we read, the more we can start to understand their true magic.

Welcome to The Tadpole Society, the circle that's a pond - 12/01/2003
by Agnes Eva

This is the place for haiku, senryu, and tanka writers and enthusiasts! I'd like to start things off with a preliminary set of definitions for the three forms. My understanding of them is ever expanding daily, as I read various theories, published works, and Frogpond, the publication of the Haiku Society of America, of which I am a new member. That's why I've called this the Tadpole Society; we're mostly novices in these forms, and even the published among us are always reading more and trying to write better to capture those elusive 'haiku moments'.

An unrhymed poem recording the essence of a moment keenly perceived, in which Nature is linked to human nature, usually written in three lines totalling fewer than 17 syllables. One way to write them, often called 'traditional', is to follow a 5-7-5 syllabic structure, but many published haiku do not- some are even one liners!

Structurally similar to haiku but primarily concerned with human nature; often humorous or satiric.

An unrhymed poem consisting of five lines of 31 syllables or less, following the short/long/short/long/long form, which can be 5/7/5/7/7.

Excellent resources which further define, as well as give comprehensive writing tips on haiku and senryu:
and on tanka:

Forums (members only)

Featured Poems

Backyard senyru by Kara Hayostek
Evening Haiku by Maureen Glaude
Haiku for a Rain Day by Maureen Glaude
Late Fall Tanka by Maureen Glaude
My Tadpole Society Kukai Entry (Color) by Maureen Glaude
Tactile Tanka by Maureen Glaude
Andrew S Adams
Julie Adams
Bob Arcania
Melissa Arel
Steve Baba
Kimberly Bare
Ashley Beaudoin
Melanie A Bennett
Jim Benz
Laurie Blum
Soulo Jacob Bourgeau
William Brunk
Joe Cramer
Glenn Currier
Agnes Eva, Circle Moderator
Erin Eymard
Dave Fitzgerald
Linda Fuller
Maureen Glaude
Jo Halliday
Samiah Haque
Sigurdur Haraldsson
Charles M Harrison
Kara Hayostek
Meghan Helmich
Paganini Jones
Stephanie Kent
Kyle Anne Kish
Ann Krischus
Pall Kvaran
Maryellen Lebeda-Parra
Rhonda Maneki
Amanda L Marron
Keith McFarlane
D. James McKee
Cole Miller
David Neubauer
Bruce W Niedt
Angela Nuzzo
Jeffrey Parren
Robin Patterson
E. A. Pugh
Patricia J Reed
Lindsay Sanders
Anastasia Shows
Michael Smith
Alex Smyth
Wendy Sparling
David R Spellman
Genevieve Sturrock
Darren Swift
Kourosh Taheri-Golvarzi
Uriel Tovar
Richard Trotter
S.J. Tyler
Carl Walker
Jason Wardell
Tony Whitaker
A. Paige White
Kathleen Wilson
Circle Index

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