The haibun is a form of storytelling popular in Japan. It combines narrative text with 3-line haiku.. I tell my love story as text combined with poetry – cherita and the occasional long form. This life: a love story tells what came before After You.
Here is one poem from it:
It’s a small wooden box-
stencilled with flowers and the town’s name in white-
Santa Margherita de Ligure
A souvenir so I would remember
a village pinned by sun to a hillside.
Forgive me. I have forgotten even
the unfamiliar light
recalling only you
and how gently you placed this gift in my hands,
like a poem or a promise,
as if it were fragile.
and here is a sample of the text
………..We knew the farm would have to be sold sooner or later. Arthur had bought it and willed it to Jack, a millionaire’s house that needed a millionaire ’s purse to run. Five years later, the time had come and the estate was sold to a conglomerate of New York business men.
One day, looking about for the last time, I opened a cupboard in a seldom used room. On the top shelf , there was a familiar green box . It was like glimpsing the face of a friend in a crowd on a foreign street. My school lunch box, the one I’d filled with cookies and shipped off to Jack in the South Pacific seventeen years ago.
Lifting the battered lid I found inside, wedged in the corner, the miraculous medal with our initials engraved on it.
I asked him about them that evening.. I said I was surprised he still had them.
‘Do you think you were the only one who could love so much?’ he asked me.
And I said ‘yes’.
—from This Life: a love story
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