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Volume 33.2
Summer 2002

book review

Haiku u Dalmaciji: izbor—eseji
(Haiku in Dalmatia: Selection—Essays)
edited by Zlatko I. Juras


reviewed by Charles Trumbull

Haiku u Dalmaciji: izbor—eseji (Haiku in Dalmatia: Selection—Essays), edited by Zlatko I. Juras (Split, Croatia: Matica hrvatska, n.d. [2002]). In Croatian with some English. 190 pages, paper, perfectbound 5.5 x 8. ISBN 953-98687-0-X. $19.00 postpaid, from Ivan Tadej, Marasovica 18A, 21000 Split, Croatia.


This curious omnibus volume is essentially a celebration of a place and a group of friends that gathers there to do poetry. Dalmatia is the Croatian vacation area that lies along the northeast coast of the Adriatic Sea. The book presents a record of the annual haiku gatherings that have been held in the village of Milna on Brac Island, south of Split, since 1996 and at the astronomical observatory in the mountain town of Mosor beginning in 2001. The book consists of short essays (including observations on haiku in Croatia and Dalmatia by Vladimir Devidé and Zlatko Juras, respectively, and an interesting contribution by Dragan Vucetic, "Haiku—Verse in Dialect"), about a dozen renga written at the gatherings, collections of participants’ verses old and new, a few waka, and sketches and photos of some of the social events. Most of the text is in English as well as Croatian, though the translations do not flatter the originals. Haiku u Dalmaciji also contains information on the history and tourist happenings in the region and a newspaper report on the ceremony in October 2001 wherein the Dalai Lama committed to the sea in Split a sand mandala avalokitesvara built in his honor by Tibetan lamas, and a collection of haiku dedicated to His Holiness. Two representative haiku from Dalmatian poets:

Do nogu mi se
more dokotjalo—
vrati se natrag

The sea
rolled to my feet
and turned back

Tomislav Marijan Bilosnic

Za valom trci
val. Na putu do luke
postaju Jedno.

Wave running
after wave—entering the harbour
becoming One

Dunja Pezelj



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