"Haibun" ( _ja. 俳文 "haikai writings") is a combination of brief prose and haiku, often autobiographical or written in the form of a travelogue. The 17th century Japanese poet, Bashō, was a prominent early writer of haibun. He wrote haibun as a travel account during his various journeys, the most famous example of which is Oku no Hosomichi, or "Narrow Road to the Interior".

The contemporary practice of haibun composition in English is evolving rapidly. [ [http://haibuntoday.blogspot.com/2007/12/haibun-defined-anthology-of-haibun.html Haibun Defined: Anthology of Haibun Definitions] , by various authors. Accessed 2008-09-25] Generally, a haibun consists of one or more paragraphs with at least one embedded haiku. The prose ordinarily comes first and is written in the concise, imagistic haikai style. It may record a scene, or a special moment, in a highly descriptive and objective manner. The accompanying haiku may have either a direct or subtle relationship with the prose, often encompassing or hinting at the gist of the recorded experience. The combination of prose and haiku should provide a more powerful insight than that available from either separately. Typically, the writer takes care not to state anything too directly, but rather to paint a sketch, allowing readers use their imaginations to intuitively immerse themselves in the writer's experience. Present tense, brevity in prose, and implication are typical elements of modern haibun composition. Generalizations are usually avoided, with the scene painted in a detached manner.

Modern English-language haibun writers of note include Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross, Ken Jones, David Cobb, Jerry Kilbride, Paul Conneally, W. F. Owen, Ray Rasmussen, and Stanley Pelter.


ee also

Tanka prose

External links

* [http://poetrylives.com/CHO/ Contemporary Haibun Online—A Journal of Modern English Haibun]
* [http://www.haibuntoday.com/ Haibun Today: The State of the Art -- online haibun and criticism]
* [http://raysweb.net/haibun/ A personal website with examples and definitions of haibun]
* [http://redmoonpress.com/ Redmoon Press offers the yearly print volume Contemporary Haibun, as well as other haibun/haiku related books]
* [http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Island/5022/hut.html The Hut of the Phantom by Matsuo Basho -- the origins of contemporary haibun]
* [http://haibuntoday.blogspot.com/2007/12/haibun-bibliography.html Haibun Today's] extensive haibun bibliography

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