Haiku, Tanka, and Haibun. It’s all poetry to me. Learn the difference.

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.
Much Respect

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015


US to KSA to Kids and Women’s rights. The Yemen cartoonist.

Sometimes an article doesn’t end up as it begins. I search for artists of Graphic Literature and am successful. But when I find them, sometimes I get a lesson beyond cool looking pictures and novels that I can see and interpret with very few words to get in the way of my imagination.

Take Maizin Shuja’a Al-Din of Yemen.

With the aim of entertaining and educating children, Shuja’a Al-Din publishes comics that discuss different issues including child labor, early marriage and education.

Newspaper publishers do not appreciate cartoonists in Yemen, Shuja’a Al-Din says. However, the lack of appreciation makes him “more determined to continue his work.”~yementimes.com

y-1There is also Arwa Moukbel, a young female cartoonist. Now that’s a rarity in Yemen. She likes to speak her mind but her family keeps her in check so as not to, I guess basically get herself imprisoned or worse. Not exactly a lot of freedoms there.


Rashad Al-Sameai is probably one of the most if not the most popular right now. The former psychology studies 30 something year old creates from his heart and writes about bad habits and things that speak to the people. I’m not exactly certain what his work says so I’m not going to display it here. One somewhat popular comics site actually erased the text from a cartoonist’s work  before putting it on their site, not Al-Sameai. But I would rather just not display it than alter it. If I can translate it at some point I’ll share it. But I do know he champions the rights of women and children.

Finally, Kamal Sharaf, actually spent a month in prison for, being forcibly removed from his home in 2010 after he challenged the then president Ali Abdullah Saleh. He still satires, and challenges. And even challenges the current president at times.

y-3I think a big part of what Yemen cartoonist have a problem with is how other countries like to stick their noses in and treat the country like it belongs to them. I get that. Depending on the government at the time, you could be taking your freedom into your own pen. Imprisonment, death threats, and basic fear for family are common thoughts each day as these cartoonist deliver messages in one panel that a whole news show or book can’t explain. And you know what? You’ll remember the images.That news show? Not a chance.

I plan to expand this one a lot more as I find more cartoonist, have more time, and translate what I find.

Much Respect


© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015