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Vladimir Devidé

Vladimir Devidé

May 3, 1925 - August 22, 2010

Vladimir Devidé, born in Zagreb, Croatia, was considered the “father of haiku” in Croatia. He graduated in Civil Engineering in 1951. In 1956, he became a Dr. Sc. in Mathematics at the University of Zagreb. He was a Full Professor at the same university, and retired in 1990. For his research, he visited many countries, including Japan, Australia, USA, Israel, Russia, etc. At the time of his death, he was a professor emeritus at the University of Zagreb, a Full Member of the Croatian Ac ademy of Sciences and Arts, a Member of the Union of Croatian Writers, the Croatian P.E.N. Club, Honorary President of the Association of Croatian Haiku Poets, honorary member of the German Haiku Association, and Advisor of the World Haiku Association. He died on August 22, 2010, in Zagreb.

Awards and Other Honors: Vladimir Devidé spoke at over 100 lectures, promotions, and haiku meetings in Croatia and abroad, wrote numerous reviews, and was a guest on many radio and TV shows promoting Japan's haiku poetry and culture. He was a judge at haiku competitions in Croatia. His haiku have been published in numerous periodicals, magazines, and anthologies abroad, and he received many awards for his haiku in Japan and elsewhere, some of which include: International Le prix CIDALC (1977); Order of the Sacred Treasure of the Japanese Government (1983); State prize of the Republic of Croatia for Life Work in Science (2003), etc. In 1981, he obtained a six-month fellowship from the Japan Foundation. In 2004, he received a special Commendation for merit from the Japanese Ministry of Culture and Education. Some of his work was selected for inclusion in Four Seasons [Haiku Anthology Classified by Season Words in English and Japanese, edited by Koko Kato] (Ko Poetry Association, 1991). More information is available at

Books Published: In the field of mathematics, Vladimir Devidé published 40 scientific papers in mathematical journals in Austria, Holland,Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Portugal,Australia, and the USA, and about 250 essays and articles. He held some 50 public lectures about the results of his scientific work, and published 17 books. In the field of Japanology and literature, he published 19 books, some of which have been reissued several times. More than 200 essays and articles have been published in national and international literary journals and magazines. His book Japanska haiku poezija i njen kulturno povijesni okvir (Japanese haiku poetry) is considered to be the key work on which successful Croatian haiku has been built over the past decades, a 'bible' by which many Croatian poets have been introduced to Japanese culture and poetry. His Anthology of Croatian Haiku Poetry (1996) presents Croatian haiku from the 1960's to almost the end of the 20th century.

Selected Work
A bomb crater filled
by torrential rain. Swimming
pair of white swans.
The climber's shadow
hesitatingly climbing
the ladder's shadow
From the distant
void there arrives
a white butterfly.
New Year's Morning
Even the chimney sweep
has a white face.
A mountain coming
out of the fog - a pine-tree
out of the mountain.
Blue sky above,
sea-gull's white dividing it
from the blue sea below.
Perfectly still lake.
Several huge carps
riding white clouds.
In each eye
of three frogs
the full Moon.
Oppressive heat--
pigeon and hen-pigeon
too sluggish to mate.
O BON festival:
millions of stars on the sky,
candles on the lake.

Credits: "A bomb crater filled" - The 39rd A-Bomb Memorial Day Haiku Meeting Competition, Kyoto, Japan (2005); "From the distant" - William J. Higginson: Haiku World, An International Poetry Almanac (1996); "A mountain coming" - Gwiazda za Gwiazda, Antologia Haiku Europejskiego, Krakow (2005); "Perfectly still lake" – Third Prize, International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, Kumamoto, Japan (2003); "Oppressive heat" - Honourable Mention, Ito-En, International Haiku Contest, Tokyo, Japan (2003); "The climber's shadow" – Award,Ito-En, International Haiku Contest, Tokyo, Japan (2008); New Year's Morning" – Award, jaiku magazine and City of Nagoya (1999); "Blue sky above" – Second Prize, International Kusamakura Haiku Competition, Kumamoto, Japan (2001); "In each eye" – Honorary Mention, Ito-En, International Haiku Contest, Tokyo, Japan (1998); "O BON festival" - A Prize, Genkissu! Spirits Up! World Wide Hekinan Haiku Contest (2009).

Sources Biography: We are grateful to fellow Croation poet Djurdja Vukelic Rozic for providing the poetry and other information for Vladimir Devidé.

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