cattails
September 2016
Haibun
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UHTS collected works


Haibun Introduction

For your convenience, we have created an introduction page to Haibun that we publish in cattails, collected works of the UHTS. We hope that this will clarify for both old-timers and new writers specifically what is expected from submissions. For some of you, we realize that this is redundant but since there are currently so many different schools-of-thought on each of these forms—we offer ours also for your perusal.

Haibun is a Japanese genre that permits an author to express more than haiku via the addition of personal prose. It allows a wider scope of subjects such as nature orientation, literary allusion, intimate story-telling, and so forth. It is a terse, relatively short prose piece in the haikai style, usually either including both lightly humorous or more serious elements. The UHTS does not publish anything that we feel might be offensive to the general public.

A haibun usually ends with a haiku, but not always, some haibun start with a haiku. Some longer haibun may contain a few haiku interspersed between sections of prose. We believe that the secret to composing a successful haibun (the type we publish in cattails) is the "subtle pairing" rather than a "direct match" of the haiku with prose while linking and shifting, similar to the way each verse in a renku leaps away.

Haibun range from well under 100 to over 300 words. In haibun the connections between the prose and any included haiku should not be immediately obvious, and the haiku should deepen and enhance the tone, or take the work in a new direction, recasting the meaning of the foregoing prose, much as a stanza in a linked-verse poem revises the meaning of the previous verse.

When submitting, please title your haibun with your name and country on the next two lines, and always feel free to send a translation of your haibun into "your" language - If you don't translate all the text, feel free to just translate the haiku.

REMINDER: Please send any/all haibun submissions (within the "body" of an email), with the Subject heading of HAIBUN in all caps. You can submit haibun to Sonam Chhoki at: submittocattails+HAIBUN@gmail.com