D’s Poetry : Haiku 86 : Italian 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.

Judge of self and other
Present to the queen your head
No more death for you

Divvya Nirula

The name Mario Chini is important while discussing the influence of haiku and Japanese literature in Italy. Chini was an art critic and teacher. He studied literature and philosophy in Florence. And was passionate about writing haiku. In 1915, Chini translated an anthology of haiku and tanka into Italian. This provided an entire nation’s population access to Japanese poetry and culture. And the interest was widespread.

It was in the early 1900s that the tradition of haiku travelled to various countries across the globe. France, Spain, Germany and America were all discovering and exploring this medium of expression. Young Western poets studied haiku and made it their own – breaking away from its age-old format, and offering it a modern twist. In this era, various Italian literary publications also started to borrow from Japanese poetry. L’Eco della Cultura was one important magazine that frequently published Japanese poetry. Sakura and La Ronda were also widely read publications that introduced the Italian public to Haikai

The prominent Italian writer, Gabriele D’Annunzio, was also known for his love for haiku and tanka poetry. The following tanka is an English translation of what was penned by him as part of his “outa occidentale”:

Look at the moon
among the trees in bloom
It seems to invite
to love under the slight
enchantments gathered soon

Gabriele D’Annunzio

sated with wheat
– a branch hides it –
the fox laughs

Fabrizio Virgili, translated by Unknown

I’m biting an apple
Immediately I realize
There is half of a worm!

Fabrizio Virgili, translated by Unknown

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.