Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Haibun

The haibun is is a poetic form first created by Matsuo Basho. It is a form that combines two modes of writing—prose and verse.

Here are some of the "rules" of writing haibun, as suggested by the Haiku Society of America.

Prose in Haibun
  • Tells the story
  • Gives information, defines the theme
  • Creates a mood through tone
  • Provides a background to spotlight the haiku

Haiku in Haibun
  • Moves the story forward
  • Takes the narrative in another direction
  • Adds insight or another dimension to the prose
  • Resolves the conflict in an unpredictable way, or questions the resolution of the prose.
  • Prose is the narrative and haiku is the revelation or the reaction.

In a haibun, the prose can come first, last, or between any number of haiku.
Haibun also have a title, something haiku generally do not.

You can read some examples and see different haibun forms at Writing and Enjoying Haibun and More than the Birds, Bees, and Trees: A Closer Look at Writing Haibun.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a haibun. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

1 comment:


  1. Bedroom Musings

    I am sitting up in bed, accompanied only by the crickets singing outside my window and the soft breath of wind. Yesterday’s storm has passed and with it the heavy blanket of despair. Now in the dark, the quiet, the
    tick of midnight’s clock, I am ready for sleep.


    The night’s own counting:
    Owl call, cricket, passing bear,
    Moves me through my age.


    In the daylight I don't announce my years, walking like the young woman I once was. I am some mythic creature energized by light. But night time, alone, I count the hours, so many behind me. So few still to go. I am glad
    for the hough of passing bear, the dueting of barred owls, the constant thrum of crickets. They remind me of what comes after.


    When I am over,
    Small natures will still exist,
    Counting down earth's time.

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