Weekly Poetry Challenge Stars | Specific Form ~ Haibun

Image credit: © Frank J. Tassone

What an amazing collection of haibun poems this week. I want to thank Frank J. Tassone for the lovely image of Gertrude’s Nose. What a great photo!

Mr. Linky has made finding the poems so easy now. I’m tickled with the results. Here is everyone who joined in:

2.Kim9.Pat R16.Kerfe Roig
3.Trent McDonald10.s. s.17.H. R.R. Gorman
4.Linda Lee Lyberg11.kittysverses18.Merril D. Smith
5.willowdot2112.Sue Vincent19.Sally Cronin
6.joem18b13.Jude20.Marsha Ingrao
7.Frank J. Tassone14.anita dawes  

The haibun is such an expressive form. The prose portion allows you the freedom to write with all of your senses as in autobiographical prose, a travel journal, a slice of life, a memory, a dream, a character sketch, a place, an event, or even an object. Haibun that focus on one or two elements are the strongest.


The length of your haibun can be brief with one or two sentences with a haiku, or longer prose with a haiku sandwiched between, to longer memoir works including many haiku.

There are different Haibun styles: Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one haiku) haiku/prose, or prose/haiku; Verse Envelope: haiku/prose/haiku; Prose Envelope: prose/haiku/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements.

Your prose tells the story and gives the information which helps to define the theme. It creates a mood through tone, paving the way for the haiku.

The haiku should act as a comparison—different yet somehow connected to the prose, as it moves the story forward by taking the narrative in another direction.

The haiku should not attempt to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the haiku resolves the conflict in an unexpected way. Sometimes, the haiku questions the resolution of the prose. While the prose is the narrative, the haiku is the revelation or the reaction.

So, this week, I want to share a few haibun poems that met the mark!

Frank J. Tassone’s haibun read like a travel adventure. Notice how he wove his haiku in between the prose paragraphs. This is an example of the prose envelope (prose, haiku, repeating until the end). Each haiku increases the tension in the poem until we reach the very end and learn that this adventure was a cherished memory. Excellent work!

Kerfe Roig, shares an example of a verse envelope haibun (haiku, prose, haiku). She uses Frank’s image as a metaphor (on the verge) by describing a personal journey. Notice how the haiku adds to her prose by adding another layer of meaning to the poem?

H.R.R. Gorman’s haibun reads like a fantasy novel or dream sequence. She used the prose envelope (prose, haiku, prose) to tell a story like no other. The ending of the haiku leaves the reader filled with surprise!

Sally Cronin’s haibun is another great read! She wrote this haibun in the style of an Idyll (one prose paragraph and one haiku). The ending of this haibun was also a surprise!

Congratulations to all of you that wrote haibun poetry this week. You’re all stars!

Don’t forget, I’m looking for syllabic poetry examples to link to in the citations in my new book. If you’re interested, read HERE and follow the instructions. Thanks in advance.

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

30 thoughts on “Weekly Poetry Challenge Stars | Specific Form ~ Haibun”

  1. Thanks for the mention Colleen. Their were many inspired entries this week!
    I think I told you before you can use any of my poems you want, but I’ll also take a look in the archives to see what I have. (K)

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  2. Awesome! Sorry I missed this one as it has been crazy! I personally, love the Haibun. Can it be a tanka instead of a haiku? Just wondering for future ❤

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        1. It’s a good question, Jude. I’ve researched the haibun form and find that a “true” haibun is prose and a haiku. Haibun Today offers the best explanation I’ve found for the form: https://haibuntoday.blogspot.com/2007/12/haibun-defined-anthology-of-haibun.html. This paragraph sums it up: “…However, I should like to impose one severe restriction on haibun: that it has to be a blend of haiku poetry and haiku prose; the interaction between these is haibun’s greatest merit. In good haibun, the prose deepens the understanding of the poetry, and the poetry gives greater energy to the prose. The relationship is like that between the moon and the earth: each makes the other more beautiful…” Personally, I’ve written haibun senryu before I researched the form in greater detail not realizing the difference. These forms are always changing. There are some poets who say haibun is fine with haiku or senryu. But, like Grace Guts at this site: (http://www.graceguts.com/essays/notes-on-japanese-forms) I still think that “haibun enable haiku poets to share a larger context or setting for haiku, and to explore topics or stories at greater length than possible in individual haiku.” I can’t find any mention specifically of writing haibun with a senryu. If you know of such, please share with me. ❤


          1. Oh, yeah this actually makes sense. I needed to know this because I was asking why not? Thank you so much Colleen, hope you read the email


          2. I did read the email and answered you, my friend. Yes, I asked the same question about haibun and haiku vs senryu. The Japanese forms continue to evolve into what poets want them to be. That’s one reason why the haibun has stuck to the original definition, I believe. You know, tanka prose came about because poets wanted more freedom when writing their tanka poetry. Who knows? Maybe it will become a thing. LOL! ❤


          3. I love this new understanding of haibun. I’ll do it justice real soon 💪🏾😁


        1. No. Tanka prose has it’s own rules. Don’t confuse the two. A haibun is prose and a haiku (nature based). Tanka prose is prose with a tanka poem. There is one basic requirement: one paragraph, and one tanka. However, just as with Haibun, there are many tanka prose combinations, such as, Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one tanka) tanka/prose, or prose/tanka; Verse Envelope: tanka/prose/tanka; Prose Envelope: prose/tanka/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements of your own choice.
          There are two basic forms in classic tanka prose: Preface (explanation), and the Poem Tale (episodic narration) which is a poem tale or episode poem is a deeply personal experience. It gives you the opportunity to share intimate details or thoughts with your readers. Tanka is more expansive and more lyrical, than haiku. Does that help? I need to write a post about the two and explain the differences. I’ll try to do that soon. ❤


          1. Yes! Thank you. Well, here’s your post, you just explained it here perfectly. I do enjoy Haibuns,, so I’ll probably take a stab at Tanka prose too. ❤ Thanks Teach! xx

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