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Showing posts from April, 2015

Language as Vehicle: Theme & Meaning in Haibun

In his book Haiku: A Poet's Guide1, Lee Gurga points out the risk of writers attempting haibun 'before they have acquired sufficient skill at writing haiku'. 'Fine prose with poor haiku,' he says, 'makes poor haibun.' But the reverse is also true: fine haiku with poor prose also makes poor haibun. What your story has to say will gradually reveal itself to you and your reader through every choice you as a writer make . . .2 The writer must decide what larger meaning the story represents and lead the reader to that.3 Both these quotes come from writers' handbooks I have on my bookshelf. The first is a guide to writing fiction, the second to non-fiction but they both share an acknowledgement that our written stories, imagined or experienced, need to mean something to our readers and that making writerly choices ensures meaning will be communicated.
Haibun writing possesses its own specific craft challenge, i.e. the effective balance of prose and poetry, but …