ANTHOLOGY OF HAIKU by Cypriot Poets

An Anthology entitled “Throisma” – Rustle was presented at the House of Letters and Arts in Limassol, on 15 September 2014. Compiled by Tasos Aristotelous, the Anthology brings together 24 Cypriot poets who wrote Haiku, starting from the poet considered to have introduced the Haiku or Haikai Japanese verse to Greek poetry (1926), namely Pavlos Krinaios (1903-1986). Reference is also made to Kypros Chrysanthis (1915-1998), who brought out “a hundred and thirty Japanese poems” translated from English – with Haikai verse included therein. The anthologist himself, Tasos Aristotelous, introduces a novelty in this particular poetic genre by starting to write, in 2006, Haiku in the Cypriot dialect, published the following year in a book of poetry entitled “Akroloithou” – Harken.” In fact, several poets featured in the anthology have brought out Haiku collections, the first being Roula Ioannidou-Stavrou with “Seasons in Haiku” in 2003, but also Vakis Loizides with “Twig that breaks” (2007) and Maria Peratikou-Kokaraki.

The Anthology gathers Haiku by the following poets:

Pavlos Krinaios, Tasos Aristotelous, Andreas Andreou, Eleni Artemiou-Photiadou, Mimis Iacovides, Roula Ioannidou-Stavrou, Katerina Constantinou-Matsiou, Michalakis I. Maratheftis, Vakis Loizides, Maria Martidou-Theophanous, Christos Mavris, Panayiotis Nicolaides, Panikos Panayis, Myrianthe Panayiotou-Papaonisiforou, Maria Peratikou-Kokaraki, Evrydiki Pericleous-Papadopoulou, Giorgos Petousis, Antonis Pillas, Mona Savvidou-Theodoulou, Aliki Teleskou, Ayis Charalambides and Athos Hadjimathaiou.

Tasos Aristotelous notes in his Preface:

“The art of HAIKU stands out as an important poetic genre in the wider history of poetic discourse. Hailing as it does from the Far East, specifically from the land of the rising sun, Japan, it has demonstrated the existence of cultural affinities amongst people whose geographical paths had never crossed. This is probably one of the greatest contributions of HAIKU to international art and world civilization.”

The Anthology was presented by academician Mimis Sophocleous. Below are selected poems from the Anthology:

Pavlos Krinaios: 

Thunder and lightning

Celestial horses

storm ahead, their gallop

roaring, hoofs afire!

Tasos Aristotelous:

The bay tree trembles

blackbirds by the thousands

have nestled within.

Pitsa Galazi:

We have returned here

even though we never left

– but not the same.

Mimis Iacovides: 

A tiny flame

is enough to start a fire

in skies elsewhere.

Katerina Constantinou-Matsiou:

A poet upon

a canvas made of velvet

sensibility.

Michalakis Maratheftis: 

It was a small drop

yet it wanted to quench

everybody’s thirst.

Vakis Loizides: 

Akin to fig tree

leaves, you’re spinning a web with

nothing but silence.

Maria Martidou-Theophanous: 

A butterfly

that’s clung to a flower

-this is my psyche.

Panayiotis Nicolaides:  

A poet’s riddle

I am musica

I drive the wine back

into the grapes.

Myrianthe Panayiotou-Papaonisiphorou: 

And so the moon was

walking next to you along

the pathway.

Maria Peratikou- Kokaraki: 

Handkerchief made of

silk, creased and wrinkled while

waving goodbye.

Evrydiki Pericleous-Papadopoulou: 

And as the night falls

it looms along the backdrop,

a captive ocean.

Giorgos Petousis: 

Your lips of fire

bud of a pomegranate

tree, arouse lust.

Mona Savvidou-Theodoulou: 

The cherry tree gives

in memory of colours

a kiss of crimson.

Ayis Charalambides

‘Tis the cyclamen

that dominates the boulder

over the waves.

Translated by Despina Pirketti

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