Poetic Forms

Author JL Huffman
3 min readJun 12, 2023



I adore Sandburg’s poetry description: poetry provides a medium you can enjoy with all your senses. In his example, you can see, smell, and touch both items; you can taste the biscuits and hear the crunch as you bite.

Five Senses

I have been working diligently on various poetic forms over the past month, trying to stretch my poetic skills. Two forms involved more than inscribing a poem, so they were a new challenge.

Challenge Yourself

In the process, I have been steadily submitting poems to both print and online journals. [Note: I have not included copies of my work referenced in this article, which have been accepted for publication, because the pieces have not yet been published. I will be happy to share the poems once they are in “print”-online or actual print journals].

The first form I sent out was a haibun. The first recipient gracefully declined, but I was delighted when the second journal accepted my work. I’m even more pleased because this site produces a PRINT journal. What is a haibun? The following definition and picture will help explain the form.

Haibun Definition: Haibun is a Japanese form pioneered by the poet Basho. Every haibun begins with a title, followed by a prose-like paragraph. Next, a haiku describes the scene. The two elements are interwoven and refer to each other. See the example below to get a sense of the form.

Haibun Example [by Micheal McClintock]

The second type of poem is a haiga. I created several haiga and am happy to report that two have been accepted: one to a PRINT journal, and the second to an online journal. I won’t mention how many were summarily rejected. The following definition and photo will aid your understanding of this format.

Haiga Definition: Haiga is another Japanese form. It was popularized by Yosa Buson, a Japanese poet and artist. Haiga merge haiku/senryu and an image (either a photo or painting) inspired by the poem. Some poets type the poem below the picture; others superimpose the poem on the artwork.

Haiga Example [by Rita Odeh]

In addition to haibun and haiga, I have continued to submit haiku with a smattering of acceptances. It’s all good; a poet must be humble.

What new challenges have you undertaken lately? Have they been in your work life, physical fitness, or creative venues?

You can follow the Author on her Website or on Twitter.



Author JL Huffman

I’m a retired Trauma surgeon/ICU doctor, a world traveler and gardener. I’ve published in the surgical literature; now I’m writing poetry, memoir & fiction.