Someone in another thread stated they were learning Japanese expressly to read “zen poetry”.
I replied that 川柳 tend to be less serious and more approachable than haiku or whatever for novices like myself. 川柳 tend to be comedic/light-hearted observances about everyday life that anyone can relate to.
I’ve always enjoyed it when someone shared 川柳 with me, but until Wanikani I always needed someone to read them to me or else find pre-translated sources with furigana or romaji.
Which got me to thinking … (Always dangerous)
I’ve not been doing enough reading outside of WK in Japanese or English these days, which makes me sad. But I really want to force myself to read more Japanese.
It turns out that I’m already able to read the kanji in many if not most of the senryu I’ve found, and they come in nice, small, self-contained chunks: I don’t need to commit to much longer-form things like novels and manga (though I still want to do more of that). I still get to practice my reading, but I can just snack on a few pocky-sticks rather than committing to a full meal.
Senryu (like 諺) seem like a great way to build your vocabulary as well as expose yourself to various grammatical constructs. Reading them online provides access to crutches like Yomichan, etc., but often the mechanical translations don’t really suffice. They really help to get you to think in Japanese. Reading and understanding each one feels almost like solving a puzzle for me — kinda like solving the daily wordle!
I found a few old (locked) threads here for haiku/senryu, but they were mostly about writing poems rather than reading practice, and contained a mish-mash of people’s own attempts (some excellent) as well as English poems and other commentary.
I wanted some simple lists of poems that I could pick and choose from for practice.
After a short search for 川柳の例, I was able to find a few lists like this one with 300 特選名作川柳 (“specially selected masterpieces”).
I wonder if anyone else has any other lists they might recommend?
I don’t understand many of these, but I’m surprised how many I can read. They are great fun.
As an example, I’ve a birthday coming up, so this one caught my eye:
Most people here should be able to read the individual vocabulary words, but you must understand at least a little grammar to comprehend the whole thing. Apple’s machine translation is little help: “Garbage day and rounded birthday”.
It’s about the circled day on the calendar being both your birthday and garbage day (which warranted the circle?).
tl;dr — I’m looking for lists of 川柳 to use as reading practice. I’m still interested in any particularly interesting examples (whether self-created or not) but I’d love to find more lists that people recommend.