Haibun Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Welcome to Go Dog Go Cafe’s Haibun Wednesday!

What exactly is Haibun?

In his old age Basho, who may be credited with establishing the haiku form, undertook a long journey to the remote regions of northern Japan, fully expecting to die before completing it. He did complete the journey, and his record of it has become a classic of world literature and an example, in the broadest sense, of haibun, autobiographical poetic prose accompanied by haiku. 
Journey to the Interior, American Versions of Haibun, Edited by Bruce Ross

Autobiographical poetic prose accompanied by haiku.

Bruce Ross

Let’s get to writing…

Haibun at the fundamental level might be seen as blocks of prose interspersed with haiku. And that’s how simple it could be, only it isn’t. A good haibun plays with a delicate balance where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The haiku when used right, links, shifts, and leaps beyond the scope of the prose to enrich the reading experience. Haibun rely on the interplay of prose and poetry. If the prose is a meandering path, the haiku are birdcalls. They guide the travelers, not by holding their hand but by telling them there is more to be explored.

Red River Book of Haibun, Vol 1 – Steve Hodge and Paresh Tiwari

Playtime, Debbi Antebi

Next to a pile of sensory baby books, rattles and comfort blankets, my six-month-old ends up spending the entire afternoon playing with a piece of orange ribbon.

I hold it from one end and she pulls the other, and the ribbon between us dances and twirls, circling and making leaps in the air. It shapeshifts with each shake, turning into a caterpillar, a butterfly, a rising kite, a bird in flight . . .

pottery class
the clay shaping
my hands

The prose here is delightful…full of imagery, while the haiku reflects on creativity and how it shapes us instead of the other way around. Both are lovely pieces but taken together, they are elevated to a new creation.

Now over to you…

  • Write a haibun poem that captures a moment from last week. Let the prose tell us a portion and the haiku another…all the while coming together as a whole. As Colleen M. Chesebro writes in Word Craft Prose and Poetry, “The haiku should not attempt to repeat, quote, or explain the prose.”
  • Add the link for your poem in the comments below.
  • Read one or two of other writer’s links…we all get better together. 

“Use the smallest word that does the job.”



Hey y’all, thanks for visiting the Go Dog Go Cafe and reading today’s selection. I am Donna Matthews, a born and bred Texan who can usually be found writing at the DJ Ranch, doodling, taking pictures, and traveling the world on foot. I’m all about love, people, sharing, and exploring life together, and would love to get to know you. Come on over for a visit sometime 💙

11 thoughts on “Haibun Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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