Three Haibun: BASHO translated by Franz Wright in Notes From the Gean

Painting of Basho meeting two travelers, from the Library of Congress.

The first haibun are found in Matsuo Bashō’s (1644 –1694) travel diaries in which he recorded his outer and inner journeys on foot throughout 17th century Japan, of which, Oku no Hosomichi, or Narrow Road to the Interior, is the best known. Noted American poet, Franz Wright, has translated three of Bashō’s haibun, which are published in the newly released Notes From the Gean 3:3 December 2011, pp 4-7), a journal of haiku, tanka, renku, haibun, and other forms. Wright’s translations are not only originally fresh and contemporary, they are also true to the spirit of the great Japanese poet. They exhibit a compelling and profound understanding of the form of the haibun and of the poet who created this meeting place of poetic prose and haiku. ~ yours truly, df

The American Haibun by Donna Fleischer at Issa’s Untidy Hut


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  1. I know haiku, and love them. But I don’t know haibun And hokku. Forgive my ignorance.
    I could google it. But i would very much prefer to hear it from you.
    J.

    • Best haibun reference is here: http://bit.ly/j7aYcG . The condensed version: poetic prose collaged, melded, interspersed with haiku that touches on the poetic prose and goes somewhere else.

      Best ref on hokku (aka haiku before haiku) is David Coomler, whose blog, HOKKU is listed at the word pond blogroll.

      Thanks for your interest in these Japanese-derived forms.

      Donna

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