One of the poems in the Vuong book is titled an Immigrant Haibun and I wanted to talk a little bit about that form of writing. I didn’t know the haibun was thing until this semester, when my Flash Forms class introduced us to haibuns (and even used Vuong’s poem as an example of the form…of the haibuns we read, his was one of my favorites).
A haibun is hybrid of prose and haiku. Generally, there is a paragraph or two of prose, written in a imaginistic/poetic style, which is followed by a haiku. Haibuns also usually involve a journey of some sort and mention a season. Obviously, those are generalized guidelines, not everyone sticks to those rules, as you can see in Vuong’s piece. It’s a weird piece to write, because it is such a combination of prose and poetry and the writer has to decide how to approach it–prose first, then haiku, the opposite, a combination of both, etc.
The links are to sites about haibuns. The first is describing/explaining the art form in more detail, the second is a site/journal of haibun poems, in case anyone was interested and wanted to know/read more.