D’s Poetry : Haiku 87 : 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 Estonian Haiku.

Reaper madness comes
One smoke, one bluff, one token
The thinker thinks n’more

Divvya Nirula

Haiku found its way to Estonia around the 1960s.

Award winning Estonian writer Andres Ehin played a significant role in gathering public interest for the Japanese poetry. Ehin was a writer and a translator. He had studied philology at the University of Tartu and had an illustrious literary career, landmarked by several awards including the Estonian Cultural Capital Prize for the best poetry book of the year in 1996. And the Looming Prize for the best poem of the year in 1994. Notably, Ehin wrote haiku in English and Estonian. He published a volume of his poems titled Moose Beetle Swallow.

Apart from Ehin, there were several other poets who wrote haiku. Arvo Mets and a few other Estonian poets even wrote haiku in other languages, including Russian.

In fact, in Estonia, the love and fascination for Japanese haiku gave birth to a unique form of short-verse poetry. Branded Estonian haiku, this form came about in the late 00s. It is one syllable shorter than Japanese haiku. This means, whereas traditional haiku have a meter of 5-7-5, Eesti Haiku goes by 4-6-4.

The flight of swans
makes white wool of clouds
even whiter

Andres Ehin

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.