College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


James Latta


Haiku, haibun, ambiguity, faith, faith journey, journey of faith, Matsuo Basho


Creative Writing | Fine Arts


The critical paper addresses the haiku and haibun of the seventeenth-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho and argues that his poetry demonstrated a high level of ingenuity and flexibility. Accordingly, it serves as a model that can be reappropriated by modern poets writing in a different language and context at a distance of hundreds of years. The haibun anthology entitled "Journey Through the In-Between" is divided into two main parts. Part One presents the ambiguity that I have discovered on my mental and spiritual journey of faith. It is divided into five chapters. Each chapter’s title and content features two juxtaposed states of mind as follows: “Between Light and Darkness;” “Between A Dark Night of the Soul and Acedia,” “Between Purpose and Failure,” “Between Faith and Doubt,” and “Between Hope and Despair.” Part Two, also divided up into five chapters, focuses less on juxtaposed ideas and more on several trains of thought that present my faith struggle to the reader. Each chapter’s title serves as the introductory phrase for the haibun in that chapter as follows: “Pain is a…,” “Depression looks like…,” “I Remember…,” “The Other Day…,” and “Dear Lord…” Ultimately, the reader is taken on a journey from the darkness to the light as the read through the anthology.