Category: Writing Techniques

Halbun - the Japanese essay

Halbun - the Japanese essay

Haibun, a prose form inspired by haiku, begins in the everyday events of the author's life. The form stresses a certain conciseness of expression, but uses full prose sentences. It is used, for instance, for travel writings which include numerous references to natural scenes and contain good descriptive material. Also it is used as a journal form to focus on place, daily events, people one knows or meets. Haibun includes a number of haiku poems strewn throughout the text. The reader grasps the meaning of the haibun, and then of the haiku, and goes on to discover the undercurrents of meaning common to both.

Seriousness, beauty, imagism, objectiveness, density of image/event/experience or a light touch (amusing) are some of the moods which may be incorporated in a haibun.

Write haibun. Read the haibun of Basho, Buson, Baudelaire, Mallarme, and Kerouac along with haibun by current writers at the international level. Try travel-writing haibun, journal-writing haibun, still-life haibun, essay haibun, and haiku.

Category: Creative Writing Techniques