Welcome, poets! I am your host, Frank J. Tassone, and today, we write haibun, that blend of prose-poetry and haiku. As Spring is underway, how about we embrace a traditional Spring Kigo: Cherry Blossoms!
Blooming from mid-March to late April, Cherry trees produce an array of beautiful flowers, whose colors embody Spring. Viewing the Cherry Blossoms (hanami) evolved as an important cultural ritual in Japan. Poets from the Heian era wrote many waka (tanka) that alluded to the blossoms. Basho continued this tradition in both his haiku and haibun writing, and other haiku poets followed his lead. Viewing Cherry Blossoms remains popular today, both in Japan and throughout the world. The United State’s National Cherry Blossom festival, for example, is an annual celebration in the nation’s capital.
Why Cherry Blossoms? How do these phenomena so captivate poets through the centuries? Well, their beauty is so fleeting, so transient. A blossom, at peak bloom, lasts about a week. What heartfelt, transient beauty better evokes sabi, that wistful longing for what passes, which is such a vital element in haikai poetry? Cherry Blossoms have clearly captivated poets for centuries.
See how they inspired some of the haiku masters themselves:
they fall and scatter…
How many, many things
They call to mind
they fall in the dreams
of sleeping beauty
(Buson)from “Haiku Poetry about Cherry Blossoms,” Alicia Joy, Culture Trips
Now it’s our turn. Let us keep in mind that there are three kigo for Cherry Blossoms: hatsu hana (first bloom), sakura (peak bloom), and osozakura (late bloom). I leave it to you to address whichever stage you wish. That said, let’s write haibun that allude to Cherry Blossoms.
New to haibun? The form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.
New to dVerse? Here is what you do:
- Write a haibun that alludes to Cherry Blossoms (hatsu hana, sakura, or osozakura).
- Post it on your personal site/blog.
- Include a link back to dVerse in your post.
- Copy your link onto the Mr. Linky.
- Remember to click the small checkbox about data protection.
- Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.
- Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
- Have fun!