Haibun Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Welcome to Go Dog Go Cafe’s Haibun Wednesday!

What exactly is Haibun?

Autobiographical poetic prose accompanied by haiku.

Bruce Ross

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

This week’s writer’s guide…

[Concerning Haibun] …in Japan, haibun is commonly associated with personal diaries and travel journals. American versions of haibun began in the late 1950s with travel diaries by the poet Gary Snyder and fiction by the novelist Jack Kerouac. There has also been much experimentation with haibun, including book-length travel journals, many-sectioned autobiographical accounts, and nontraditional fiction.
How to Haiku, Bruce Ross

Fiction tho? Yes, your haibun can be a completely made-up story!

Travellers, Ken Jones
Only half an hour to the frontier. Small towns fly past, held for seconds then gone forever. Empty platforms brightly lit, the name boards plastered with snow. Our compartment is yanked open. Cold and menace flood in. Black leather greatcoats, with snow on the shoulder straps. And our eyes drawn to the pistol holsters. Their faces are impassive; emotionally correct beneath their peaked caps. Finally they
salute, and wish us bon voyage. The train clanks across the high girder bridge. A different flag, a different sense of humour, and a different kind of toilet paper. The officials here are raffish
and dangerously unpredictable. They squint at my unfamiliar passport, and, worse still, they squint at me. I hold my breath.

Frontier Guard
the merciful click
of his self-inking stamp

Read the rest of the story here beginning on page 45.

Now over to you…

  • This week, let’s flex our creative muscles and write a fictional haibun using January as a theme.
  • Post the poem to your blog, tag Go Dog Go Cafe, and include a link that leads readers back to this post.
  • Add the link for your poem in the comments below.
  • Read one or two of other writer’s links…we all get better together. 


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 💙

7 thoughts on “Haibun Wednesday, January 19, 2022

  1. Reblogged this on Ivor.Plumber/Poet and commented:

    Hello readers and followers, you most welcome to participate in our new format from “Go Dog Go Cafe”, which is being organised by Donna Matthews, an interesting format of writing a “Haibun”, so read all about how to write a Haibun, and you are all welcome to join us at Go Dog Go Cafe, and post your articles here on “Haibun Wednesdays” …by clicking on the link at the bottom of this article >>
    View Original Post…

    Liked by 1 person

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