• Kyodo


European Council President Herman Van Rompuy proudly presented his second volume of haiku at the Japanese ambassador’s residence last week.

Published three years after his first volume, “Haiku 2” is not only accompanied by drawings but also Japanese translations of the original Dutch verses.

Van Rompuy read his favorite haiku, “As my own dog died some weeks ago, I identify very much with an elder man walking his dog,” saying, “The image stresses the feeling of wishing to get old with someone.”

“The Japanese translation now also strikes a bridge to the homeland of haiku poetry,” Van Rompuy said, referring to the Japanese translations of his verses included in the book.

The subjects of the haiku, which have also been translated into English, French, and German, include the seasons and the feeling of being together.

About the quake and tsunami that devastated the northeast in March 2011, he wrote:

The three disasters.

Storms turn into soft wind.

A new, humane wind.

Van Rompuy told reporters he wanted to describe not only the horrible disasters that struck Japan but the wave of solidarity he saw for the victims.

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