Haibun (俳文?, literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku.
haibun may record a scene, or a special moment, in a highly descriptive and objective manner or may occupy a wholly fictional or dream-like space.[citation needed] The accompanying haiku may have a direct or subtle relationship with the prose and encompass or hint at the gist of what is recorded in the prose sections.

The haibun is prose (or a prose poem) interleaved with one or more haiku:

  • The prose is not an explanation of the haiku.

  • The haiku is not a linear continuation of the prose.

Make each word count in the prose text, as in a prose poem.

Compact micro-haibun limit the prose text, such as to 20-to-180 words. Most commonly only one haiku is included, placed after the prose, and serving as a climax or epiphany to what came before.

Many haibun include more than one haiku and longer text than the above range, as long as the resulting work is strong enough.

The juxtaposition of prose and haiku is important.

  • The prose should add to the depth with which we experience the haiku.
  • The haiku should add meaning to the prose.





  Missing Man  (By J Zimmerman)
    Mid-November after I rake the leaves I stand at Central and First,  holding the Stars and Bars. All of them died in Nam — my brother Joe, my cousin Freddy, mom’s youngest brother Jack. Sometimes I just have to come out on the streets and stand with my flag. There’s no parade.
            The smell of burning
            could be diesel
            could be napalm

First published in Frogpond 34:1 (Winter, 2011)


Pasted from http://www.baymoon.com/~ariadne/form/haibun.html

Related Forms: Alphabet Haiku,  Crystalline,  Haibun,  Haiga,  Haiku,  Haikuette,  KimoLune, PixikuRhaikuSijo, UkiahZip

Example Poem


To Kill Those Mocking Words









He was told to write outside of his comfort zone, choosing a form in which he’d never written and make it his own for just a little while. “Let me use my pencil and tablet ma, this keyboard is already outside of my comfort zone.  ”  But she replied that it was all part of his learning experience.  He continued, dejected because chewing his pencil helped him think.

dialog message
unblanks his screen again –

finger hits cancel


© Lawrencealot – March 19, 2013