Some of you may have run across two strange words while reading the Haiku offerings in the Haiku Challenge each week.
Those words are Tanka and Haibun. Both look a lot like Haiku. There is a reason for that.
Starting with Haibun.
Haibun is a Haiku but is more prose related than poetry related. A great deal of what many of you write is a Haibun as opposed to a Haiku.
What you do is write the prose part and then write a Haiku related to it. A lot of you do that and I love it. The content can be autobiographical, non-fiction, or fictional. Write your prose in a paragraph or two, and often with a little more flare than a normal paragraph, if you choose to do it that way, or simply write a couple of paragraphs the normal way. Then follow that with your Haiku that sums up what you said in a Haiku of the 5/7/5 syllable structure but is more one long sentence made up of the three lines instead of the usually Haiku in English of two sentences made up using the second line as a common part of each sentence.
You will be at ease
Once trying this new method
Of writing your life.
That’s a Haibun type Haiku. I wrote a paragraph about something, and then the Haiku summed it up.
Normally in Haiku in English it would be something like,
You will be at ease
Once you try this new method,
Write your life with ease.
Here you have that second line being the end of a sentence.
You will be at easy once you try this new method.
And then it is the beginning of a second sentence.
Once you try this new method write your life with ease.
Now let’s look at Tanka, also at times may be called a Waka.
This one is pretty simple as well.
You have the syllable structure of 5/7/5/7/7.
You have the upper phrase of the 5/7/5.
And you have the lower phrase of the 7/7.
The upper phrase would be your traditional Haiku in English style. The lower phrase then is connected by that third line.
I learned of some new
Styles of poetry today,
Made up of many
I could spend all of my days
Writing each poetry style.
You can see how line three connects with the lower phrase. (Bold above is only for this article, not to be included in actual Tanka.)
Made up of many, I could spend all of my days writing each poetry style.
I know my examples here aren’t the greatest, but I simply wanted to give you the idea of what the styles are like. If you are doing the Haiku Challenge, it’s fine to try the Haibun and Tanka out during the Challenge. Stretch your creativity and expand your experience.
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