I’m not likely to die.
The result for the days of sleeping away from home.
It’s the end of the autumn.- Basho
Hello Dear Poets and Welcome to Haibun Monday-
I love this time of year. Here in Arizona the intense heat is over for another season and the weather is absolutely beautiful. Of course, it’s also the time of year when we change our clothes at least three times a day; the mornings are cold (for us) afternoons are almost perfect (shorts), and the evenings get chilly (sweatshirts and pants again) as the sun sets in a painted western sky.
For those of you not familiar with a haibun, the form was first created by the Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho, in a letter to his disciple Kyorai in 1690. Basho also wrote haibun as a travel diary during his various journeys throughout Japan.
For today’s inspiration, we will focus on Autumn’s voice (aki no koe), such as rustling leaves, a late emerging cicada, crickets, an unexpected breeze, a crow’s call, etc.
If you are new to haibun or dVerse, a haibun is composed of both prose and a haiku. Here are some general guidelines to refer to:
Guidelines for Writing Haibun in English ©Margaret Chula hsa-haiku.org
Written both in present and in past tense
Autobiographical prose, travel journal, slice of life, memory, dream short sketch of a person, place, event, object
Traditional topics: life as a journey, love affairs, illness, human concerns & experiences
Point of View
Written in first person (everything seen through the author’s eyes—I), third person (he/she), or first person plural (we).
Consistent, sets a mood, often interrupted by the haiku
Uses sensory images, concrete details, no abstractions
One or two elements
Uses language to suit the subject matter and mood (colloquial, formal, dialect)
Varies from very brief (1-2 sentences) with one haiku, to long prose entries with interspersed haiku, to memoir-length works
Haiku/prose/haiku Prose/haiku/prose/haiku/prose/haiku etc.
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.
TIPS ON WRITING HAIBUN
– Don’t accept the first haiku that comes to you after writing the prose. Find a word or image in
the prose to play off of
– Avoid the linear in the capping haiku—take a right angle turn. Haiku should link to but not
repeat what the prose has said.
– Prose best if kept to a single theme with sensory detail, haiku crystallizes the experience – Use symbolism in your haibun to deepen the emotional impact
– End with a surprise, not a narrative resolution
– Often the haiku is contained in the last sentence of the prose, waiting to be transformed.
So, are you ready to put pen to paper and write a haibun on Autumn’s voice? And if we don’t cross paths later in the week, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
If you are new, here’s how to join in:
- Write a haibun inspired by Aki no koe (Autumn’s Voice).
- You will find links to other poets and more will join, so check back later to read.
- Read and comment on other poets’ work–we all come here to have our poems read.
- Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog.
- Have fun!