Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Butterfly Dream: Border Stones Haiku by Dimitar Anakiev

English Original

Summer funeral --
border stones of my village
sunk deep in the earth

At the Tombstone

Dimitar Anakiev

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio sketch

Dimitar Anakiev (aka Kamesan 亀さん, b. 1960 in Belgrade) poet, writer and filmmaker, began to write and publish poetry at the age of 13, and began writing haiku in 1985. He is the “father“ of many Balkan haiku projects such as Haiku Novine (Serbia) and Prijatelj and Apokalipsa haiku edition (Slovenia). He is a co-founder of World Haiku Association and co-editor of Knots: An Anthology of Southeatern European Haiku Poetry. His awards include the European Award: The Medal of Franz Kafka, The Museum of Haiku Literature Award, Haiku Society of America annual Merit Book Award and prizes from Mainichi Daily News, Daily Yomiuri (both Tokyo) and Azami (Osaka). He has also won several film awards, including the National Slovenian Award for best documentary film.


  1. Is it the heat (from "summer") or the death (s) (implied in "funeral") that makes the "border stones" (not funeral/memorial stones or any stones near the grave site) of the speaker's village "sunk deep" in the earth? Read in the sociopolitical context of a war-torn country, the perspectival shift makes this haiku thematically and psychologically effective, challenging the reader to do border-crossing thinking.

  2. One more thing about Dimitar's haiku above:

    It is written in the classical haiku form of 5-7-5 syllables. It's neither cluttered with sentimental generalities, nor padded with superfluous words in efforts to make the 17 syllables.