Haibun – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

file2671288383338The history of haibun writing is fascinating. While it was a famous Japanese poet (Basho) who came up with the name “haibun” a few centuries ago, to encapsulate the rich flow of words (prose) with cleverly orchestrated poetry (haiku) this style of writing has been going on for a much longer period of time – but not well documented.

Travel diaries (In Japan and China) written long ago by travelling scribes attest to this. It was only much later on, that there became a “formal” application and study of these various creative styles of writing.  In each travel log a scribe not only wrote of his journey but also of his thoughts and feelings about both his travels and his connections to the land surrounding him. In effect he was exploring the nature of things through the crafting of his written words.

Today, worldwide, the haibun form is taking various styles of expression. It has become, for some, an open form. I believe there is a need for both the openness of creativity along with the unique template that represents the nature of haibun writing. A special relationship presenting itself between the haiku (short free verse poetry) and the expressive prose narrative.

More and more writers worldwide are becoming fulfilled as writers through this wonderful form, this “narrative of a happening.” I see infinite possibilities in the future for haibun that will provide a lasting and renewed contribution to world literature.


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