We’ve seen our first butterflies— they capture our attention as beauty, despite the fact of their metamorphosis from egg to larvae to chrysalis before becoming the beautiful creatures that allow us to pause in our busy days. And so, today’s poem.
You may have noticed a format of my poems this April— a bit of prose with a haiku. That form of poetry is called “haibun.”
I’m not very good at it, so that’s why I’m trying for a month of haibun. It’s a combination of poem [hai] and prose [bun]. The prose should indicate a place and season and include sensory imagery such that the writer shows an awareness of how the element written about create a feeling of longing with a turn or twist in the third part. The haiku, usually at the end, captures the essence of the topic. I think it will take me years to include all of that poetic expression. Still, the point is the learning and trying and writing and sharing.
So, whatever form of writing that inspires you: do write and share and revise and let it sit and take it up again and share again. Just write. Just write and soon the words will wander back to you and refresh your vision intended in ways that inspire better writing.
Resources for Haibun:
For my writing process today, I considered the beauty of butterflies and how they capture my attention, so that I stop and wonder at the amazing flight of little stained glass windows on the wind. I never think about where they came from— I just wonder at how their beauty and dance creates a joy and a pause for us in our daily lives. And I wonder a bit, about what that means— this beauty that arrives after strange changes.
Then, how do I capture this in a haiku? Here’s my thoughts and revisions while writing:
A Flutter Forward
Fluttering from flower to flower, a butterfly’s beauty and boundless freedom attracts attention to its flight and to the wonder of its colors, stained-glass-looking scales signaling poison to predators. Floating on the wind as if fairies dancing in the shimmering sunshine to mesmerize the mind in the moment, an escape from the errands of the everyday, a chance to accept that slowing down saves our souls.
The flutter of color forces us forward, forgetting the beauty’s beginnings— a fixed egg on leaf hatches as larvae, a caterpillar crunching and munching then spinning a silk chrysalis whose inside creates creased wings that unfold to dry and fly from flower to flower in beauty of boundless freedom of flight and fancy.
Is the lesson that our beauty belongs to surviving our struggles, freeing our futures from our past?
Forward flutters wings
a colorful dance freed from
hanging chrysalisSheri Edwards
Haibun seems perfect for sharing questions about the twists and turns of life. Start with a “What if” or a “Why does” question and just write what you’ve seen in the world about what is and what the answer might be.
So, in my poem, I wondered why I forget the strange metamorphosis of butterflies and just am glad I can pause and ponder their beauty when the they flutter by.
The haiku tried to capture all that— that dance free from the previous stages of its life.
Re-read your prose and highlight a few lines of key ideas or wonder. Let that end your haibun in a type of haiku.
Remember, when you’re learning, like I still am, you don’t need to follow the perfect form. Just write your interpretation and feeling about you’re thinking.