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Showing posts from January, 2011

Water-Ways: A Haiku Journey in Ghent

International Haiku Festival in Ghent, Belgium 13th to 19th September 2010

Zilvervisje glimt Langs ’t onzeekre watervlak En hapt er een ster August Vermeylen (1927)
silver fry flicker along the shifting waters and snaffle a star
Trans. David Cobb (2010)

The festival haiku by Vermeylen is one of the oldest haiku written in Dutch but also a natural choice given that Ghent is a city of rivers and waterways that weave through and around its gothic buildings and cobbled streets.
And the theme of water was more intimately introduced to the delegation of assembled haiku poets after dinner on Monday and Tuesday evenings with candle-lit ‘ginko’ in hand-made and man powered, long-oared, wooden boats. With blankets over our knees and notebooks in hand we were steered silently along the dark water, under low stone bridges, with the lights and stepped gable roofs of the city above us.
someone singing from an open window the boat drifts
Lynne Rees

The boat trips were repeated by day to allow us the maximum amo…