Haiku in Poland

Each year, the Polish Haiku Association conducts an international haiku competition. The 10th Polish International Haiku Competition was conducted in 2020 and attracted entries from 52 countries. You can read the awarded poems and see the judge’s comments here.

I was fortunate to have the following haiku selected as one of the 10 Commended entries:

morning fog
the warmth of her horse’s

Gregory Piko

The contest organisers subsequently sent me a beautifully presented certificate and a copy of Migratory Birds: Almanac No.3 of the Polish Haiku Association (2020).

Migratory Birds showcases the writing of Polish Haiku Association members. The book offers a substantial collection of haiku together with a number of tanka, haibun and essays – all appearing in both Polish and English.

The haiku are often classic in style: referencing flora and fauna, with each poem being perfectly crafted. Taken as a whole, these haiku give a strong sense of the Polish people’s joy in observing and interacting with the birds, plants and seasons of their country.

I should say, also, that the English translations in Migratory Birds are excellent, making the collection most enjoyable for a non-Polish speaking person to read.

Three haiku by the 2020 Competition organisers (taken from Migratory Birds) are shown below in English and Polish:

step by step
tottering the icy path
the rook and me

krok za krokiem
człapiąc po śliskiej ścieżce
gawron i ja

Marta Chociłowska
President of the Polish Haiku Association, and Competition Final Judge
(haiku credit: English Speaking Union of Japan (ESUJ-H), Feb. 2019)

flutter of wings
in the hands of an old woman
winter grains

trzepot skrzydeł
w dłoniach staruszkiziarna

Robert Kania
Treasurer of the Polish Haiku Association, Competition Pre-Selector
(haiku credit: International Haiku Conference Anthology, 31 May – 2 June, 2019  St. Albans, UK)

spring flirtation –
the birch leaves
even more green

wiosenny flirt –
jeszcze bardziej zielone
listki brzóz

Krzysztof Kokot
Honorary Member of the Association, Competition Originator

While I have chosen to present haiku by the Competition organisers, the standard of haiku is high throughout the collection. It contains many excellent haiku by almost 50 members of the Polish Haiku Association.

You can visit the website of the Polish Haiku Association here.