Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ion Codrescu - Three Questions

Ion CodrescuIon Codrescu is a Romanian poet and artist born in 1951. He lives on the Black Sea coast and is the author of eleven haiku books. Some of his awards include: Tokyo Museum of Haiku Literature, This is Yomiuri, Itoen New Haiku Contest, Bashō International Haiku Contest, Constantza Haiku Society Award, Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award and Grand Prize for Renku, Croatian Haiku Association Award, Sparrow Prize for the Best Book, Mainichi Daily News, International Congress on Arts and Communication Excellence Award Oxford, Niš International Poetry Competition Award, Nagoya City Prize for Haiku, The Kokushikan University Medal, International Kusamakura Haiku Competition Prize, Orion Award, Novi Sad University – YU’98 Award, Prize of the Romanian Writers’ Association – Dobrogea Branch, World Haiku Festival London-Oxford Prize for Essay, Nobuyuki Yuasa International English Haibun Contest Prize, Haiku International Association Special Prize, Bulgarian Haiku Club and Radio Bulgaria Award, and Kikakuza International Haibun Contest Prize. He is the founder of the Constantza Haiku Society in Romania, the Albatross and Hermitage – two international haiku journals. His graphic works are in private and state collections in many countries. Ion has illustrated more than one hundred books, journals, newspapers, and calendars. Art and poetry are two sides of the same way in his life and will continue to be two lighthouses in this world of pragmatism. You can see his watercolors, ink paintings, haiga and read his poems listed under archives at:

He welcomes any feedback at:

1) Why do you write haiku?

Composing a haiku is similar to creating an ink painting or a watercolor: Each word has the power of a brush stroke. Juxtaposition is a technique used in all three art forms. Through haiku, I discovered renku, haibun, and haiga. To make a painting or a poem we need harmony, contrast, rhythm, accents, ideas, and emotion. As a poet I write haiku to better understand myself and the world around me. I compose haiku because I do not want to forget some of the wonderful moments in my life. Haiku is a way for me to share those moments with other people.

Haiku poetry has changed my life. I now follow a simple path where the present moment is very important to me. It is said that “a poem is a translation” of something which evoked an emotional response in the reader. I work on this “translation”, to have a poem as a clear dewdrop that can be understood by readers from different parts of the world. Feedback of my haiku from people all over the world inspires me to continue writing this small poem for the joy of being together on the haiku path.

2) What other poetry forms do you enjoy?

I like to read tanka and short poetry of all forms. I enjoy writing renku when all the poets involved in the writing session are in the same location. I also enjoy writing haibun as this gives me the opportunity to develop haiku poetry in many ways, perspectives, and directions. Writing essays on different themes has become an activity at my desk.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

a chrysanthemum lights
the darkened garden
all alone

(Drawings among Haiku, Muntenia Press, 1992, Romania)

house for sale –
the apricot tree in bloom
as never before

(Unsold Flowers, Hub Editions, 1995, England)


(Haiku Troubadours 2000, Ginyu Press, Japan)

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Ion answered. You must be a published poet to participate.


Pamela A. Babusci said...

dear ion,

so nice to see you here at
tobacco road. i loved all
your haiku, esp. "house for sale".

thanks for sharing.
i also love your lovely haiga


Jane Reichhold said...

Dear Ion,
So happy to find you here and to read your thoughts. Excellent haiku, as always from you. You have done so much for haiku literature! You deserve to be featured on the Tobacco Road. \o/ Jane

Dejan Pavlinović said...

I enjoyed your interview.

Greetings from Croatia.

snowbird said...

Dear Ion, What a rare treat! Thank you. I particularly appreciate your comments about "translation" as I've had a great deal of difficulty explaining that as well. I have admired your work for decades!
Thanks, Merrill
P.S. For me it was an apple tree that gave fruit days before we left.

Jessie Carty said...

Love your answer to the first question

Norman Darlington said...

Very nice read, Ion. Lovely to be reminded of your wonderful haiku.

Ellen Olinger said...

And thanks again for HERMITAGE!