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Darko Plažanin

Darko Plažanin

August 30, 1957 - January 19, 2009

Darko Plažanin was one of the best known Croatian haiku poets, having published work in more than a dozen countries in at least eight other languages besides his own. Born in Pakrac, he lived in Samobor, and worked in Zagreb as a warehouseman. He was a vigorous editor and indefatiguable organizer, hosting the Samobor Haiku Meetings for 16 years and editing the resulting anthologies as well as several haiku journals. His work appeared in the bilingual collections Sedam putova (Seven Ways) and Novih sedam putova (Seven New Ways), as well as Knots: The Anthology of Southeast European Haiku Poetry and Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac.

Awards and Other Honors: Darko Plažanin received many awards and commendations. In 1990, in Japan, the Japanese Minister of Education, Science and Culture awarded him the Grand Prize in the Ashiya International Haiku Festival contest. Some of his work was recently included on the Haiku Society of America's "Haiku Wall" at the Liberty Theatre Gallery in Bend, Oregon (June 3-5, 2011).

Books Published: Zubor vode (Murmur of the Water), Svakidasnji put (The Every Day Road), and Samobor, named for his adopted home city. He is also one of the authors of Sedam putova/Seven ways (Zagreb, 2000), Novih sedam putova/Seven New Ways (Zagreb, 2003). A new collection of his work, to be released posthumously, is in preparation.

Selected Work
storm over—
a boy wipes the sky
from the tables
a gun
on my shoulder—I forget
paper and pencil
blossoming cherry
one bough hides
the whole town
only the wind
steps across . . .
the mine 
the girl
spreading her arms
embraces the meadow
calm at sea—
fondling each other,
the small boats
scattered meadow
across the moon’s surface
pine needles
an old man
nodding his head
at everything
air alert . . .
people running away
from each other
each snowflake
flies its own way into
the same whiteness

Credits: Translations into English from the original Croatian were made by a host of poets who were not credited and so unfortunately cannot be cited here. The translations have been revised by Jim Kacian. “storm over” - Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (ed. Higginson 1996); “scattered” - World Haiku Association website; “a gun” - Frogpond 18:2 (1995); “only the wind” - World Haiku Association website; “calm at sea” - World Haiku Association website; "an old man" - World Haiku Association website; “each snowflake” - World Haiku Association website; Knots: The Anthology of Southeastern European Haiku Poetry [edited by Dimitar Anakiev and Jim Kacian] (Prijatelj, Slovenia, 1999; distributed by Red Moon Press). All selections appear in the mine field: a posthumous collection of the haiku of Darko Plažanin (Red Moon Press postscript series, volume 11, 2009).

Sources Biography: Saša Važić, Djurdja V. Rozic, Borivoj Bukva, and Tomislav Maretic; the mine field: a posthumous collection of the haiku of Darko Plažanin (Red Moon Press postscript series, volume 11, 2009).

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