D’s Poetry : Haiku 85 : Spanish Haiku

D’s Poetry is a living archive of all poetry penned by me, Divvya Nirula. Join me on this journey today as we discuss the popularisation of the Spanish Haiku.

Brides of hell and fury
Ready to be given away
Lilith breaks the seal broken

Divvya Nirula

Haiku poetry was introduced and popularised in Spain in the early 1900s. But the concept of short verse poetry was not new to the country. In their language, they already had a poetic structure very similar to haiku, called seguidilla. Seguidilla were typically written in the former 5-7-5-7.

Spain adopted haiku a little after their French neighbours fell in love with this form of Japanese poetry. However, during the years of the Spanish Civil War, from 1936-1939, haiku was largely abandoned. In fact, even for a few decades after the war ended, poets steered away from haiku, in favour of traditional formats of Spanish poetry. The sense of belonging to one’s own motherland was expressed and epitomised through the adoption of classical forms of writing. It was only in the late 60s and early 70s that the interest in haiku poetry grew again. The translations of some of Matsuo Basho’s works into Spanish was largely responsible for this renewed excitement.

Like England, Germany, American and many other Western nations, Spain too has a Haiku Foundation. The organisation is dedicated to the promotion of various forms of Japanese poetry, including haiku. It also provides a space for like minded people and young poets to meet and discuss their interests, thus keeping the genre alive.

The tree blooming
each day the night removes.
half of its blossoms.

Tender willow
almost gold, almost amber
almost light . . .

By the black water
the smell of sea and jasmine
Night in Malaga.

3 haiku by unknown poets

You are invited along on this journey of discovery and writing. For more poetry and verse by Divvya Nirula, please visit the archive for D’s Poetry.