Poem Spark Aug. 14-21 – the Haibun

Greetings fellow poets!

Lately I’ve been reading a great deal of haiku, tanka, haiga, and other traditional forms in their new incarnation in English. A lovely form that I just recently stumbled upon is the haibun. This traditional Japanese form is distinguished by the inclusion of one or more haiku within poetic prose. The haiku can be anywhere in the prose: before, after, or in the middle. In Western poetic sense, this is the combination of a prose poem with a very short free-verse poem. The most important part of what makes a haibun successful is the ability of both the prose and the haiku to stand on their own as a complete piece. In other words, the haiku must not depend on the prose to be a successful poem, nor should the prose depend on the haiku.

Here are some links to an explanation of haibun:

Simply Haiku -click on the link, after the ad, click on Contents, then click on Editor’s Welcome under the Haibun section.

Haibun by Contemporary Writers

Here are some examples of haibun:

Basho The Hut of the Phantom Dwelling

Bill Wyatt A Fistful of Frost

Louise Linville A Death in the Family

This week’s poem spark: write a haibun. Don’t worry about making the haiku adhere to the strict syllabic form. Instead, be creative, and have fun!

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6 thoughts on “Poem Spark Aug. 14-21 – the Haibun

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