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Lillian here. Delighted to inaugurate dVerse’s participation in the new year, 2021!

Did you celebrate as the clock neared midnight on December 31st? . Many times in years past I would watch on television as the image went from country to country, continent to continent, showing the New Year literally exploding before my eyes. I recall in my youth, trying so hard to stay up till midnight and if I did, donning my warm winter coat, hat and mittens, and stepping outside in the frigid air with one of my mother’s pots in one hand and a stainless steel spoon in the other, and then banging that pot for all I was worth, screaming out to no one, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I also remember one year when I was home from college, lying on our pull-out couch hide-away-bed in our den, sick with the flu, watching the tv station my mother had set for me before she and my dad left for their New Year’s Eve party with her “Girls’ Club”. In those days, there was no remote control. This year, my husband of fifty years and I watched a movie on Netflix, sipped a glass of champagne, and went to bed before 11 PM. But oh how glad we were to wake up in the morning to 2021! In this age of Covid, the idea of a new beginning is so tantalizing, so full of relief and hope. My wish for all my dVerse friends, is that 2021 proves a healthy, happy, and joyful year for you and yours.

So the prompt for today’s haibun, follows the theme of a New Year. Please write about some new beginning you’ve experienced in your lifetime. It could be a new job; your wedding; birth of a child or grandchild; a move; rejuvenatement (never say retirement); planting a new garden or the first blooms in your garden; tasting a new food; experiencing a new culture. Anything along the lines of a new beginning that you’ve experienced.

And I’m asking for a CLASSIC  HAIBUN that includes a TRADITIONAL HAIKU.

  • A haibun includes 1 to 3 prose paragraphs that must be a true accounting, not fiction,
    followed by a traditional haiku which MUST
  • be nature based
    be three lines (5 – 7 – 5 syllables OR short-long-short)
  • have a direct or subtle relationship to your prose paragraphs: enrich the prose without condensing or summarizing it
  • include a KIGO (word or phrase associated with a particular season). See suggestions below in section on the SAIJIKI
  • (trickiest part for me) although only 3 lines in length, it must have two parts including a shift, an added insight. Japanese poets include a KIREJI (cutting word). BUT there’s no linguistic equivalent in the English language therefore punctuation creates the cut: we can use a dash, comma, an ellipsis, an exclamation point. Someimes it’s simply felt in the pacing or reading.

    Japanes poets often use a SAIJIKI – a book like a dictionary or almanac to find their KIGO. The book is divided into the 4 seasons. It includes categories within each season: earth, humanity, observances, animals, and plants. I found this VERY HELPFUL. Here’s some examples:

SPRING KIGO: Under Earth, warm (weather changes from cold to warm; water becomes warm); spring mist and spring haze. Under Animals: frogs (noted for singing); skylarks (in flight); swallows, and twittering (singing of songbirds). Under Plants: blossoms, cherry-blossom viewing, wildflowers.

AUTUMN KIGO: full moon. Under Humanity: scarecrow. Observances: grave visiting. Animals: crickets. Plants: apples, persimmons, colored leaves.

WINTER KIGO: Humanity: snow viewing, first snow, ice. Plants: fallen and dried leaves. New Year: first laughter.

In other words, you may or may not actually use the words summer, spring, winter, or autumn.

EXAMPLES OF HAIKU WITH a KIGO and a KIREJI (added insight after a cut):

the crow has flown away:
swaying in the evening sun
a leafless tree
by Natsumer Soseki

fresh snow on the mat –
the shape of welcome
still visible
by Michael Dylan Welch

too dark to read the page,
too cold.
by Jack Kerouac

New to dVerse or need a reminder of what to do?

  • Write 1 to 3 paragraphs of prose. They must be a true accounting; not fiction.
  • Follow your prose with a TRADITIONAL HAIKU. See discussion above regarding kigo, kireji, number of lines and syllabic requirements.  
  • Post your haibun to your blog AND add the exact URL for your poem to Mr. Linky below.
  • REMEMBER to either TAG dVerse in your post, or include a link at the end of your haibun that leads readers back to dVerse (https://dversepoets.com).
  • If there is no Tag or link back to dVerse, I will gently remind you to add it or remove your post from Mr. Linky. Sorry to be so harsh…..but this is just part of the requirements AND it will bring you more readers and lead more folks to dVerse so they can participate as well!
  • REMEMBER: We are beginning the year with a haibun that includes a TRADITIONAL HAIKU