One of Basho's haiku: “Taken in my hand it would melt, my tears are so warm—this autumnal frost.” A most elegant metaphor for the death of Basho's mother. It acts as a stand for Basho's previous haibun. A reader could have a literal understanding of this metaphor as a haiku, but its full effect—its aware (ah-wah-ray) —is apparent only when one reads the prose of the haibun that precedes it. In the prose of the haibun, the reader clearly sees that Bashō used the word frost to describe holding his dead mother’s white hair,
The western haibun has evolved into a long, vividly described poetry form. I am preferring the original form, the more spare and compact writing. I would like you all to write a haibun for me. the haibun is not to be more than 100 words. The haibun below by Basho from the Narrow Road is only 88 words long. I often write haibun with only 44 words! Basho's haibun:
Days and months are travellers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of years, spend every minute of their lives travelling. There are a great number of ancients, too, who died on the road. I myself have been tempted for a long time by the cloud-moving wind - filled with a strong desire to wander.
the summer grasses—
for many brave warriors
the aftermath of dreams
Haibun: Winter Ocean
Walking along the shore, snow begins. The sky is grey overhead and golden sand becomes white. Broken shells roll in the surf. I hold my face up to the sky to be kissed.
lazy snowflakes kiss the shore –
ocean kisses back –
winter romance blooms
Haibun is not flash fiction. It is an autobiographic writing or, a truthful accounting of something that has occurred in your life and directly affected you. Haibun like haiku are not named. However I have begun the practice of naming them for simplicity. I begin Haibun:----- title for the haibun. It is also a seasonal accounting - winter at the ocean, spring picnic under cherry blossoms, autumn canoeing down a river. Take us in the haibun where you are. Edit your words carefully - hold the moment of your haibun in your mind and feel it. Remember: No more than 100 words! a brief paragraph ending with a haiku. The haibun can be on any subject as long as it actually happened to you.
I will be catching up with the poems written for my last prompt. I apologize for unexpected sickness. I hope you all enjoy this prompt as much as I enjoyed writing it! Remember: NO MORE THAN 100 WORDS! Please travel among the other poets. I know I will enjoy this journey!
Hiroshoge Evening Bell at Mii Temple, from the series Eight Views of Omi Province ca. 1835
A scene such as Basho would have experienced