October 9th, 2005

Egrets Reading

Rejections and Confusion

Four poems came back from Dreams & Nightmares, although David did say he’d love to look at a rewrite of one of them. A haibun came back from Frogpond.

Speaking of haibun, there’s a discussion on Michael Rehling’s Haiku Hut Message board about haibun without haiku, which seems like an oxymoron to me, since I was under the impression that a haibun was the synergy of haiku and prose. However, Rehling says that some of Basho’s haibun didn't include haiku. Someone else on the board said that he’d describe some of Gary Snyder’s poems in “Danger on Peaks” as haibun, even though he had longer poems intertwined with the prose descriptions of the mountains. Snyder’s work in “Danger on Peaks” does have a haiku-like flavor, though, so I understand what he means on one level. But, back to defining haibun...

Does this mean a haibun is better defined as a prose poem? A piece of poetic prose which may or may not include a haiku? Is it better described as a travelogue? A journal? I’m confused here.

I think I need to learn Japanese.