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Frogpond 45.1 • 2022

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - Split Sequences

Essay 2 - Nonhaiku of Bob Kaufman

Essay 3 - Covid Haibun


Interview - Laurie D. Morrissey


Book Reviews

From the Editor

Haiku Society of America


An Introduction to Split Sequences

by Peter Jastermsky

An Introduction to Split Sequences
(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

This essay will offer a brief history of the split sequence, with examples of collaborative and solo versions, as well as a brief how-to primer on writing a split sequence at the end.

I created the split sequence form in 2017. Having just written a selection of haiku and senryu, I looked at the poems in front of me and asked myself, “What would happen if I did this?” I took one of the haiku, split the three lines apart, and placed a haiku between each of those three lines. The line format became 1/3/1/3/1/3. After some tweaking, and adding a title, I realized that I had created a linked piece of some kind. But what was it?

Garry Gay created a linked verse form, the now famous rengay, in 1992. Perhaps the aspect that has been rengay’s staying power is its communal aspect. My 2017 discovery is also a linked form maintaining certain elements of renku. Over time, the rengay caught on with poets, and that communal form is strongly being written 30 years later. Linked verse brings us together. So let’s share a split sequence!

To teach you how to join me, I will demonstrate the process for writing a collaborative split sequence with an unpublished piece composed between Bryan Rickert and myself. To signal Bryan’s contributions, I’ve italicized them.

A split sequence starts once an original three-line haiku is picked that you judge will be suitable in its individual lines to split into thirds.

[essay continues for several more pages] . . .

. . .

Jastermsky, Peter. "An Introduction to Split Sequences." Frogpond 45.1, Winter 2022, 91-95.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the essay: page 91. The complete essay includes pages 91-95. To read the complete essay, click on the link to the PDF version:

An Introduction to Split Sequences
(complete PDF version)