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The first encounters of Danish poetry with Japanese short-form poetry came via the early-20th-century translations in English, French and German. It was only after mid-century that the first Danish-language versions of Japanese haiku appeared in print. The first haiku in Danish that was clearly influenced by haiku appeared in 1957, and in the decades that followed many poets tried their hand at haiku, both in forms that hewed closely to the standard Japanese model and in a free form derived from Danish modernist poetry. The catalyst for a broader interest in haiku came with the publication of the first full collection of 150 haiku and an introduction to the Japanese genre in 1963. The first organization to gather haiku poets, the Haiku Group of the Danish Authors’ Society, was founded in 2001. The Haiku Group published an anthology with Danish haiku and articles on haiku elsewhere in 2005.


The first encounters of Danish poetry with Japanese short-form poetry came via the early-20th-century translations in English, French and German. It was only after mid-century that the first Danish-language versions of Japanese haiku appeared in print.

In 1958 Torben Ulrich, a tennis star, jazz critic, and author, published the first Danish-language versions of Japanese haiku in the second issue of the magazine Bazar, which he published together with Bengt Janus and Jørgen Gustava Brandt. They included haiku of Moritake, Bashō, Kyorai, Kyoroku, Kikaku, Masahide, Buson, Ryōkan, Issa, and Meisetsu. In his short introduction Ulrich described the popular Japanese verse as follows:

Haiku contains 17 syllables, distributed over 3 lines (5–7–5), a total of between seven and no more than ten words … haiku emerged around the 16th century from the at least two-thousand-year-old tanka (31 syllables, 5–7–5–7–7) and the linked-verse form renga (5–7–5 by one poet, 7–7 by a second).1

In his own translations, however, Ulrich used more or fewer syllables as necessary and provided the haiku with titles. He did not mention the conventions that haiku concern nature, that the season of the year be denoted by the use of season markers (kigo), and that the verse have a break, like a caesura (kire) that promotes a comparison of the two parts.

Ulrich, himself a Zen Buddhist, and Jørgen Gustava Brandt, an influential Danish poet, were inspired by the Imagists and Beat poets as well as Zen Buddhism. Ulrich and Brandt first learned of haiku when a flight-attendant friend provided them with the latest literary publications from Paris and the United States, such as Evergreen Review and works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder. Especially influential was Kerouac’s The Dharma Bum, in which characters based on Snyder and Kerouac discuss and write haiku. Closer to home, they were inspired by Aage Marcus’s book Den blå drage (1941; The Blue Dragon), about Chinese life, philosophy, painting, and the Chinese Zen concept.2 Bazar was published for only one year, and during that time it managed to publish only Ulrich’s introduction and translations of Japanese haiku and Bent Irves’s translation of Wallace Stevens’s haiku-like poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”


In 1957, already a year before Bazar flourished, Jørgen Gustava Brandt published Dragespor (Trails of the Dragon), a collection in which he included what is probably the first haiku-inspired poem in Danish:


Tunge og stirrende 
                   vaager stuerne  
Tænder jeg natlampen 
                        summer fluerne 

Heavy and starring
                      the living room at wake
turning on the night lamp
                          flies will buzz

This is an ironic playful entrapping moment with an ambiguous puncture of the gloomy vigil with the humming of the flies. It is typical for Brandt to contrast the static gloom with a lively light movement, which in turn is annoying and teasing. It’s about renewal in the moment in which you are really intensely present. “Modernism … is uninterested in the special case … and the I of the poem is an anonymous investigating the common human.”3

The first Danish poet who tried to write true haiku was the now all-but-forgotten Jens Lund Andersen (1923–1962). He published four collections of poetry and a translation of the poems of the Swedish-Finnish modernist poet Edith Södergran from 1949 to 1959. Ten of Andersen’s haiku, composed in classical 5–7–5 meter, were published in the journal Hvedekorn.4 Rich in metaphor, Andersen’s poems typically turn on an unexpected juxtaposition of images of two different senses, for example:


Nede fra søen 
klingen og ringen, vinden  
løber på skøjter 

Bakkernes skuldre. 
Mørket er udslaaet haar. 
Hviskede nogen? 
Winter Motifs

From the lake
crackling and ringing the wind
is busy skating

The shoulders of hills.
Darkness is the hair loose.
Someone whispered?


The experiments with haiku and haiku-like poems by prominent Danish poets, however, did not lead to widespread acceptance of Japanese short-form poetry by other Danish poets or the public. The catalyst for a broader interest in haiku came with the publication in 1963 of Haiku: Introduktion og 150 gendigtninger (Haiku: Introduction and 150 Retellings) by Hans-Jørgen Nielsen. Nielsen had earlier published his versions of 16 Japanese haiku by Bashō, Buson, and Issa in the literary journal Hvedekorn no. 5 of 1961.5 Working from German, English, and French translations, Nielsen produced his own versions—he was adamant that these were recreations, not translations—and he presented them in a novel, six-line format that disregarded the Japanese conventions that so absorbed other European and North American translators. Rather, as he explained in the introduction to his book, he “found it expedient to utilize the experience of modern poetry by using “blown” syntax (sprængt syntax) This is also likely to affect the intensely laconic linguistic structure of the original haiku, according to several sources.” In terms of content, Nielsen follows R. H. Blyth closely in suggesting that haiku should, at least indirectly, indicate the season of the year, hew to the Zen Buddhist view of life, abjure a focus on the personal in favor of the natural, and employ a style that features specific, descriptive images rather than subjective opinions.

Nielsen also developed a method of reading haiku different from that generally used in the West, where haiku is read as a clash between two planes that, through a surprising twist (kireji) in line 2 or the beginning of line 3, throws new significance onto the whole poem, puts the moment in perspective in its microcosm, and expands cognition of the moment. Nielsen’s way of reading is a persecution of lines in a geometric interplay between external and internal planes throughout the poem. An example might be this “recreation” by Nielsen of a haiku of Meisetsu’s:

onna hitori sō hitori yuki no watashi kana

og munken 

På færgen 
på vej 

Mens sneen 
The woman
and the monk

On the ferry
on the way

While snow

A poetry of implication … You are led to see the little ferry that moving horizontally’ crosses the vertical lines of the falling snow. From there you can move on to the woman and monk, who also represent a contradiction: close life and life secluded from the world—the forward-turning and the upturned. Seen thus, the poem is a geometric interplay between otherwise separate outer and inner levels of intensity. The whole world in one glimpse.6

Nielsen went on to develop his own style of concrete poetry and won great success as a novelist and literary critic.

Ivan Malinovski, one of the greatest Danish modernist poets, immediately responded to Nielsen’s interpretation in 1965 by publishing Poetomatic, a whole book of short poems inspired by haiku. Malinowski’s poems challenge the Zen and introspective traditions in haiku, instead using his short lyrics to critique modern civilization. In Poetomatic, for example, he pairs Nielsen’s translation of a Buson haiku—釣鐘にとまりて眠る胡てふ哉 (tsurigane ni tomarite nemuru kochō kana)—with his own poem as a comment:

On the temple’s 
great bell, 

at rest

a butterfly 
Too steep
the fire
too big

birds taking off

Malinovski’s surprising turn (kireji) creates a tense, restrained breath that increases the tension of the sudden catastrophic fire to the breaking point of an unbearable moment in the unstable silent stillness where no birds take off. Here, the silent stillness is present and not present in the nanosecond of a moment which is not at all a harmony, but a linguistic shock that is both chaos itself and a stay in chaos pointing towards the political upheaval of chaos. It is not a satori experience at stake, but Malinovski’s linguistic shock effect that opens his own artistic and existential themes. The work of Nielsen and Malinovski in the 1960s laid the foundation for Danish haiku for years to come.

During the 1970s and 1980s a number of other Danish poets, including Dan Turèll, Klaus Høeck, and Peter Laugesen, were also influenced by the American Beat poets, Zen, and haiku. Mixed in with their longer poems, all three occasionally wrote haiku. Danish literary critics were not sympathetic with such experimentation, however. The scholar Anne Borup pointed out that the critics do not read or understand haiku.7 For example, Erik Skyum-Nielsen wrote of one haiku, “It could have been the start of a poem, but unfortunately Laugesen leaves the lines to stand alone”:

Frosne underbukser 
dinglende på snoren 
vinterfisk i blomst
Frozen panties
dangling from the line
winterfish in bloom8

Typically, this haiku of Laugesen’s is rooted in everyday experience— laundry hung out to dry in cold weather—but it pivots abruptly on the word “line” into a surreal image of the ice fisherman’s catch hanging out, suggesting flowers in bloom. It is haiku and imagism at once.

Arne Herløv Petersen, best known for his many translations of English-language fiction, has experimented with short-form poetry since 1959 and has translated a book of Issa’s haiku.9 This example of Petersen’s own haiku dates from 2013:

Stille. Helt stille. 
Og humlebiens brummen 
er mere stilhed. 
Quietly. Completely quiet.
And the hum of the bumblebee
 is more silence.

In 1977, Susanne Lyngborg, later known as Susanne Jorn, author and poet published a collection of her own poems inspired by modern Japanese haiku and senryu. She called her collection Epigrammer (Epigrams) in accordance with her view of the status of Western and modern Japanese haiku (and curiously reminiscent of the British translator Basil Hall Chamberlain, who in 1902 called haiku “the Japanese poetical epigram”). A sample senryu from Epigrammer:


Et net af fyrrenåle 
stikker i månen; 
travle aftenskygger 

A network of pine needles
sticking in the moon;
busy evening shadows

In 1982 Jorn/Lyngborg, who held university degrees in both Japanese and English language and literature, published a collection of translations of tanka, haiku, free verse, and geisha songs she had made directly from the Japanese (a first in Denmark) titled Efter blæsten (After the Wind). Her translations were perhaps closer to the originals of the classic masters whom Nielsen had visited in 1963, but her book also contained haiku by the foremost modern Japanese haiku poets such as Iida Dakotsu, Iwata Hideichi, and Kaneko Tōta, who paid little heed to the traditional niceties of Japanese haiku. As Jorn/Lyngborg wrote: “Many poets often break the rigid framework and their haiku is reduced to a simple epigram, which is nevertheless called haiku because it suggests the haiku mood or situation.”10 Marking a difference to classical Japanese haiku for both modern Japanese poets’ break of the framework of classical Japanese haiku and Western poets who don’t adhere to classical norms. One example of a translation from Efter blæsten is a haiku by Dakotsu:

mei tsukite yakkō samuku hanare keri

Livet forbi, 
forlader hans krop.
Life passed by
The smell of medicine
leaves his body.11

Susanne Brøgger is another well established writer and poet who has written Japanese-style poetry in a haiku-inspired mode, although sometimes she formats her haiku in two lines:

Lad minderne falde døde 
til jorden, ligesom bladene.
Let the memories fall dead
to the ground, just like the leaves.12

Lone Munksgaard Nielsen was inspired by Susanne Brøgger’s Lotusøje to write and publish her own haiku. Nielsen’s collection Rimgræs13 contains several sublime haiku, although she has been teased for adhering to almost all the haiku conventions:

Han lænede sig 
alt for langt tilbage og 
faldt ud af sin krop 
He leaned
way too far back and
fell out of his body

Nielsen’s haiku complies with the 5–7–5 rhythm, the kireji is classically placed at the start of the third line before “faldt” and divides the poem into two parts on different levels while shifting the new experience or realization back and forth between them. But the classic themes of the original Japanese haiku are gone; the poem provides a new, commonplace entry into the Zen state of satori.

Another trendsetting Danish poet of the 1980s, Pia Tafdrup, who has won several major literary awards, came out with Boomerang, a book of haiku on rather dark and heavy topics, in 2007. A sample:

Tærsklen til døden: 
Månemørkt indre rige 
—passagers lysflod.
The threshold of death:
Moon-dark inner kingdom
—lightflood of passages.14

It was only in the 2000s that others began to produce collections of Japanese haiku. First published was Dugdråbeverden, haiku (Dewdrop World: Haiku), selected and translated by Arne Herløv Petersen in 2006 (mentioned earlier). Translator and poet Niels Kjær published his anthology of canonic Japanese haiku, Japansk forår: 111 haiku af Basho, Buson, Issa og Shiki (111 Haiku of Bashō, Buson, Issa, and Shiki) in 2015 and followed with single-poet “selected haiku” books of haiku by Bashō (2012), Buson (2016), Chiyo-ni and Shiki (2018), and Issa (2019). Kjær’s general introduction to haikai forms, På tværs af Mælkevejen: En introduktion til de japanske digtformer tanka, renga, haibun og haiku med 99 digte (Across the Milky Way: An Introduction to the Japanese Forms of Tanka, Renga, Haibun and Haiku, with 99 Poems), also came out in 2019. Kjær also published several volumes of his own work.


The 1990s and first years of the new millennium saw a blossoming of haiku in Denmark, but until the advent of the new millennium there was no Danish organization or study group to gather and focus the energies of the growing number of haiku poets.

Then, in 2001, Hanne Hansen, Niels Kjær, Kate Larsen, and Sys Matthiesen founded the Haiku Network, later renamed the Haiku Group of the Danish Authors’ Society. This group, now numbering about 40, has played a major role in promoting haiku in Denmark and bringing it to the attention of the Danish reading public. Since 2001 Danish haiku poets have attended six meetings a year. Alternating between lectures, ginkō (walks for composing haiku), renga (collaborative linked-verse poems) and haiku writing sessions. members have enjoyed activities such as the following:

  • A workshop on haiku writing with Colin Blundell from the British Haiku Society in 2008;
  • A ginkō at Hamlet’s castle in Elsinore, Kronborg, in 2009;
  • A ginkō with tea ceremony on the Karen Blixen property in Rungsted in 2011;
  • A ginkō in a Japanese garden located in a Copenhagen suburb in 2013;
  • A lecture on the early development of Swedish haiku by Kaj Falkman of the Swedish Haiku Society in 2015;
  • Renga organized together with Dick Pettit, a Briton residing in Denmark, on several occasions;
  • Lectures and readings of their own haiku, as well as work by other Danish and European poets, by different members of the group;
  • Educational sessions on haiku writing for pupils in elementary and high school and for adults.
The Haiku Group’s first board in 2007
From left: Ole Bundgaard, Sys Matthiesen, Hanne Hansen, Niels Kjær, Benny Pedersen, and Erik Mosegaard.


Some poets choose nature topics for their subject matter as favored by the Japanese haiku masters. It follows that these poets also rely on more classical haiku language and syntax.

Haiku for skolelever, 2017

Hanne Hansen has been the most active and best known Danish haiku poet since the 1990s. She was founder and chairman of the Haiku Group of the Danish Authors’ Society and, together with Sys Mathiessen, compiled the haiku handbook At skrive haiku (Writing Haiku) in 2003. She published Haiku for skolelever (Haiku for Pupils) with Pia Valentin Sørensen in 2017. Her work has appeared in national and international anthologies as well as in eight published collections, including three in English. Her haiku are classical in form and content, but with a special Danish humorous twist:

kastanjernes lys 
hvide blomster med friskt grønt 
de er kommet sig 
the chestnuts in bloom
white flowers with green leaves
they have recovered15

Niels Kjær (mentioned several times earlier) holds a degree in theology and served as a village parish priest for twenty years. Since 1999 he has worked full-time as a writer and translator of American, British, and especially Japanese poets. One of his original compositions:

betragter månen 
mens Elis & Tom synger 
São Paulo i søvn
watching the moon
while Elis & Tom sing
São Paulo to sleep16

Jette Slaaen began composing haiku about 2003 when she was first mentored by Sys Matthiesen. She was trained as a bookkeeper but has worked mostly with small children.

Ilden brænder ud 
solens sidste gløder i 
asken fra bålet
The fire burns out
the last glow from the sun
in ashes from the fire16

Kate Larsen worked as a radio telegraph operator aboard ships for many years. Inspired by several stopovers in Japan, she has written haiku as well as newspaper articles and short stories on Japanese topics since the 1980s.

duft og farver bevæger 
hjertets trommestik.
Bouquet of roses
fragrance and colours
affect drumstick of the heart.16

Ulla Conrad is a graphic artist and writer for whom haiku is a medium to explore the current moment:

I draw and express in words the beautiful, the fascinating and immediate I come across—and seek to convey my direct experience with the world. It is the moment, the presence of the present, the direct clear consciousness that is most important to me. The shorter and simpler the better and clearer—a haiku.17

Den første sommervarme— 
blishønen forsvinder 
The first summer warmth—
under the coot disappears
under the butterbur leaves

Ida Hamre has spent her career in pedagogy with special emphasis on art and aesthetics. For more than a decade she was involved in a collaborative project on animation theater in Burkina Faso. In addition Hamre has published collections of her haiku.

alting vil vokse 
lting forbereder sig 
på altings forfald
everything will grow
and everything prepares for
everything’s decline18
Små silhuetter (2005)

Sys Matthiesen worked for a quarter century as a Suzuki-method violin teacher in schools. After retirement she continued to write books on a wide variety of topics, especially for children. She published haiku, and was the editor of the collection of haiku, essays, and translations titled Små silhuetter (Small Silhouettes). She served as secretary of the Haiku Group until her death in 2008.19

Tilbud hos Bilka 
Fine historiske roser 
i plasticpotter 
The supermarket
Rows of historical roses
In plain plastic pots

Bo Lille is a writer and haikuist, who has attended several international haiku events and managed the Underskoven performance space in Copenhagen for more than a decade:

Dagens sidste lys 
uglenes grå vingeslag  
på vej mod natten
last light of the day
the birds’ grey wing strokes
headed for the night18

Ann Mari Urwald is a writer of books for children and young adults, poet, and storyteller who has published haiku in Denmark and internationally:

oh no
snow in the deck-chair again
insisting it’s winter16

A growing number of contemporary haikuists, however, are grounded more in modern Danish poetry than in classical Japanese verse. Some examples of this trend are given below:

Penguins / Pingviner (2011)

Johannes S. H. Bjerg is a most active and well known Danish haikuist internationally. He is the founder (in 2015) and editor of the well-regarded blog Bones—Journal for Contemporary Haiku. His poetry and artwork appears regularly on Facebook and other social media and in international haiku anthologies, and he published a collection of his work in English and Danish titled Penguins / Pingviner (2011), which was shortlisted for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Distinguished Books Award 2011 in the United States. A typical haiku of Bjerg’s in the avant-garde gendai haiku idiom:

et ord der tager tid løvfald 
a word that takes time defoliation20

Haiku I (2006) and Haiku II (2013)

Ole Bundgaard is a writer, composer and artist who has been widely recognized for his several poem collections, novels, and musicals. He also meditates and writes one haiku a day. His work is keyed to the seasons, and has published three collections from 2006 to 2019, Haiku I, Haiku II and Haiku III, each with a haiku for each day of the year. He is the webmaster of HaikuDanmark. Haiku I was also translated into English and copublished in the United States:

7. Marts 

En morgen tidlig 
når nattens drømme danser  
henover søen
March 7th

An early morning
when the night’s dreams are dancing
crisscrossing the lake21

In addition to writing haikai of all kinds in Danish and English, Mona Ellinor Larsen is a singer, composer, and lyricist, She also participated in the 2015 Peace in Ghent in Peace Haiku Festival:

skifter mening 
halvvejs inde i 
et smil
changing my mind
halfway into
a smile18

Helge Krarup is a retired high school teacher, a writer, and translator as well as chairman of Dansk Svensk Forfatterselskab (Danish Swedish Authors Society):

jeg går i regnen 
fædrelandsløse skyer 
befrugter Jorden
I walk in the rain
clouds without a fatherland
fertilize the soil16

Per-Olof Johansson is a poet and author of articles on cultural topics. He is also the editor of the magazine Ordet (The Word), published by Danish Swedish Authors Society. In the 1960s he contributed to the concretistic periodical, Digte for en Daler, edited by Hans-Jørgen Nielsen and Vagn Steen:

Et digt i komfuret 
antændes af gløderne 
Ordene flammer 
A poem in the cooker
Is ignited by the embers
The words in flames

Bjarne Kim Pedersen is a writer and editor of the author-owned publishing house Ravnerock. He is the present secretary of the Danish Haiku Group and writes clearly political haiku:

Gulag psykiatri 

indespærring af 
de andres tanker, Putins
psykiatri straf 
Gulag Psychiatry

imprisonment of
the thoughts of others
Putin’s psychiatry punishment18

Pia Valentin Sørensen is the editor of the ezine connected with the HaikuDanmark website and has published senryu and haiku there; for example,

Efterårs vindstød 
en cyklist nærmer sig fart 
grænsen i byen 
gust of autumn wind
a biker fast approaching
city speed limit

Viggo Madsen worked as a librarian and wrote novels as well as haiku:

En himmel af italiensk marmor 
åh, hvor jeg savner oh, 
A sky of Italian marble
butcher’s counter
oh, how I need

Thorvald Berthelsen is a retired trade union business consultant and IT system developer. He has been the editor of Danish Haiku Today since 2012:

Bag spejlet 

På et sted ingen 
vil være møder græsset 
Behind the looking glass

In a place for
nobody grass is meeting
butterfly scales16

One notable haiku activity in Denmark was the Digtergaven (Poet’s Gift) project launched by poets Viggo Madsen and Bo Lille. Beginning on January 2, 2006, and continuing for 13 months, the national newspaper Dagbladet Information featured a haiku in the upper right corner of the front page of the cultural section in every issue, a total of 330 haiku by different Danish authors.

In 2007 the Haiku Group set up an e-mail network and a website including an ezine (www.HaikuDanmark.dk) and complemented with a Facebook profile, intended to function as the central repository for Danish haiku poets. Released three time a year, it has published many hundreds of haiku, articles, and book reviews in Danish and some in English.

In 2011 to celebrate the organization’s tenth anniversary the Haiku Group published a members’ anthology Blade i vinden (Leaves in the Wind). Haiku by 25 Danish poets were included. In their preface, editors Benny Pedersen, Bjarne Kim Pedersen, and Bo Lille acknowledged the state of Danish haiku and agreed on a very broad definition of haiku, “a good haiku in one way or another should be a microcosm, the world in a nutshell, a tiny core reflecting the universe.”22

The latest edition of
Danish Haiku Today (2019)

The following year the Haiku Group had the opportunity to meet with Herman Van Rompuy, then president of the European Council, who was in Copenhagen for a European Council summit meeting well known for his love of haiku and for publishing two books of his own haiku in 2010 and 2013. A haiku reading was arranged in English, Flemish, and Danish, and for the occasion the Haiku Group prepared a supplement in English and Danish to Blade i vinden with the title Special Haiku Publication for Herman Van Rompuy 2012, later that year enlarged and reprinted as Danish Haiku Today (2012). Augmented editions were prepared in 2015 and 2019. The latest edition includes work by 43 contemporary Danish haiku poets.23

Author: Thorvald Berthelsen

Adapted from: Thorvald Berthelsen, “Haiku Ripples in Modern Danish Poetry,” World of Haiku, The Haiku Foundation website


Haiku history, criticism, and composition

  • Berthelsen, Thorvald. “Interview with Thorvald Berthelsen” (for the Kurdish Haiku Club). Haikuîst 2 (2019).
  • Brandt, Jørgen Gustava. Dragespor (Trails of the Dragon). Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1957. Kindle edition, SAGA Egmont, 2020.
  • Brandt, Jørgen Gustava. My Life / Mit liv (My Life). Copenhagen: Tiderne Skifter, 2007.
  • Chamberlain, Basil Hall. “Bashō and the Japanese Poetical Epigram.” Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan XXX (1902).
  • Hansen, Hanne, and Pia Valentin Sørensen. Haiku for skoleelever (Haiku for Pupils). Copenhagen: Ravnerock, 2017.
  • Hansen, Hanne, and Sys Matthiesen. At skrive haiku (Writing Haiku). No place [Fredensborg, Denmark]: Net-Bog-Klubben, 2003.
  • Hansen, Hanne. “Global Haiku.” In Sys Matthiesen, Små silhuetter, Haiku-antologi (Small Silhouettes: Haiku Anthology, 2005).
  • Kjær, Niels. På tværs af Mælkevejen: En introduktion til de japanske digtformer tanka, renga, haibun og haiku med 99 digte (Across the Milky Way: An Introduction to the Japanese Forms of Tanka, Renga, Haibun, and Haiku, with 99 Poems). Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2019.
  • Lille, Bo. Haiku—håndbog (Haiku: Handbook). Odense, Denmark: Mellemgaard, 2014.
  • Marcus, Aage. Den blaa drage, livskunst og billedkunst i det gamle Kina (The Blue Dragon: The Art of Living and Visual Arts in Ancient China). Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1941.
  • Matthiesen, Sys. “Haiku på Internettet” (Haiku on the Internet). Sys Matthiesen, Små silhuetter, Haiku-antologi (Small Silhouettes: Haiku Anthology), 2005.
  • Nielsen, Hans-Jørgen. Nye sprog, nye verdener—Udvalgte artikler om kunst og kultur (New Languages, New Worlds: Selected Articles on Art and Culture). Edited by Tania Ørum and Thomas Hvid Kromann. Copenhagen: Gyldendal A/S, 2006.
  • Rønhede, Nikolaj. “Omkring haiku” (Around Haiku). K&K—Kultur og Klasse 30 (2002), 31–47.
  • Sonne, Jørgen. Midtvejs, digte (Midway: Poems). Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1960.

Anthologies and collections of haiku translations

  • Chiyo-ni, Soen. Vilde violer: Udvalgte haiku (Wild Violets: Selected Haiku). Translated by Niels Kjær. Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2018.
  • Kjær, Niels, editor and translator. Japansk forår: 111 haiku af Basho, Buson, Issa og Shiki (111 Haiku of Bashō, Buson, Issa, and Shiki). Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2015.
  • Kobayashi Issa. Dugdråbeverden, haiku (Dewdrop World: Haiku). Selected and translated by Arne Herløv Petersen. Århus, Denmark: Husets Forlag, 2006.
  • Kobayashi Issa. Spurvedans og sneglegang (Spruce Dancing and Snail Walking: Selected Haiku). Translated by Niels Kvær. Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2019.
  • Lyngborg, Susanne. Efter blæsten, moderne japansk poesi (After the Wind: Modern Japanese Poetry). Viborg, Denmark: Arena, 1982.
  • Masaoka Shiki. Mit blankslidte lagen (My Threadbare Blanket). Selected and translated by Niels Kvær. Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2018.
  • Matsuo Basho. Ildfluer: Udvalgte haiku (Fireflies: Selected Haiku). Translated and with commentary by Niels Kjær. Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2011.
  • Matsuo Basho. Under høstmånens stråler: To rejsedagbøger (Under the Moon’s Rays: Two Travel Diaries). Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2013.
  • Nielsen, Hans-Jørgen. “Haiku, En introduktion og 16 gendigtninger” (Haiku: Introduction and 150 Recreations). Hvedekorn 1961: 5, 150–52.
  • Nielsen, Hans-Jørgen. Haiku: Introduktion og 150 gendigtninger (Haiku: Introduction and 150 Recreations). Copenhagen: Borgens Forlag. 1963. Danish versions of 150 Japanese haiku, some with Japanese calligraphy and rōmaji versions, and an introductory essay.
  • Tranströmer, Tomas. Haiku 1959–2001. Translated into Danish by Peter Nielsen. Viborg, Denmark: Arena, 2001.
  • Ulrich, Torben. Haiku, Bazar No 2, Copenhagen, 1958.
  • Yosa Buson. Sommersol og vintermåne (Summer Sun and Winter Moon). Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2016.

Anthologies of Danish haiku, etc.

  • Berthelsen, Thorwald, editor. Danish Haiku Today. Illustrations by Momoyo T. Jørgensen. Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock / Haikunetværket, 2012, 2015, 2019.
  • Der er et herligt land—det kaldes poesien (There Is a Glorious Land—It’s Called Poetry). Copenhagen: Ravnerock, 2013.
  • Matthiesen, Sys, editor. Små silhuetter: Haiku-antologi (Small Silhouettes: Haiku Anthology). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2005. Omnibus collection of essays, haiku, renku, etc.
  • Ørum, Tania, editor. Hans-Jørgen Nielsen. Copenhagen: Hellerup, 2001.
  • Pedersen, Benny, Bjarne Kim Pedersen, and Bo Lille, editors. Blade i vinden: Haikugruppens jubilæumsantologi (Leaves in the Wind: Haiku Group Anthology). Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock / Haikunetværket, 2011.

Selected individual collections

  • Andersen, Jens Lund. “Vintermotiver,” Hvedekorn 6 (1959), 203–4.
  • Bach, Birgit. Ballehage Strandhaiku (Ballehage Beach Haiku). N.p. [Viby J, Denmark]: Bibak Books, 2010.
  • Bach, Birgit. Brabrand Stihaiku (Braband Trail Haiku). N.p. [Viby J, Denmark]: Bibak Books, 2010.
  • Berthelsen, Thorvald. Huds tektoniske plader (Tectonic Plates of the Skin). Otterup, Denmark: Ravnerock, 2018.
  • Berthelsen, Thorvald. Haiku Mjesavina (Haiku Mixture). Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Knjizevni Klub, 2015. Selected haiku in Bosnian.
  • Berthelsen, Thorvald. Hulens år, haiku digte (Cave Year: Haiku Poems). Copenhagen: Ravnerock, 2013.
  • Berthelsen, Thorvald. Sakskøbing blanding, digte fra Sakskøbing og resten af universet (Sakskøbing Mix: Poems from Sakskøbing and the Rest of the Universe). Copenhagen: Gopubli.sh, 2014.
  • Bjerg, Johannes S. H. Noah’s Eggs / Noahs Æg II, III, IV and/og V. Privately published (CreateSpace). In English and Danish.
  • Bjerg, Johannes S. H. Penguins / Pingviner. Allahabad, India: Cyberwit.net, 2011. In English and Danish.
  • Bjerg, Johannes S. H. Threads / Tråde. Privately published (CreateSpace), 2013. In English and Danish.
  • Brøgger, Suzanne. Lotusøje (Lotus Eye). Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1999. Reviewed by Torben Wendelboe in Litteratursiden, January 4, 2016: https://litteratursiden.dk/anmeldelser/lotusoje-af-suzanne-brogger.
  • Bundgaard, Ole. Haiku: 365 nye danske haiku (Haiku: 365 New Danish Haiku). Forlaget Nielsens, 2006.
  • Bundgaard, Ole. Haiku I: 366 New Danish Haiku. English translations by Mus White. Los Angeles: P. H. Marsk / Vanløse, Denmark: Werkstatt, 2017.
  • Bundgaard, Ole. Haiku II: 366 nye danske haiku (Haiku II: 366 New Danish Haiku). Vanløse, Denmark: Werkstatt, 2013.
  • Bundgaard, Ole. Haiku III: 366 nye danske haiku (Haiku III: 366 New Danish Haiku). Vanløse, Denmark: Werkstatt, 2019.
  • Bundgaard, Ole. Sprouting Seeds: Haiku. Fredericia: Dansk Forfatterforenings Haikunetværk, N.d.
  • Conrad, Ulla. Bladværk—haiku-inspirerede årstidsord (Foliage: Haiku-inspired Seasonal Words). Otterup, Denmark: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2019.
  • Conrad, Ulla. Gendarmstien—84 km vandring langs den dansk-tyske grænse (Gendarmstien: An 84-km Hike along the Danish-German Border). Gjern, Denmark: Hovedland, 2020. Prose, haiku, illustrations, and photos.
  • Conrad, Ulla. De grønne skyggers land, skitser, digte og haiku fra Japan (The Land of Green Shadows: Sketches, Poems and Haiku from Japan). Otterup, Denmark: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2012.
  • Hamre, Ida. I det fri (In the Open Air). Otterup, Denmark, Ravnerock, 2011.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Fuldmånen lyser: digte (Full Moon Shines: Poems). No place [Copenhagen]: Net-Bog-Klubben, 1998. Autographic manuscript.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Havfrue på land, haiku (Mermaid on Land: Haiku). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2010.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Hi Haiku. Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2013.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Dansk Cyklus (Danish Cycle). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2019.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Krummepikkende spurve, haiku (Curvilinear Sparrow: Haiku). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2002.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Mountains on the Moon. Spalding, U.K.: Hub Editions, 2011. In English.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Orienten retur, haiku-digte (Orient Return: Haiku Poems). No place [Copenhagen]: Net-Bog-Klubben, 2000.
  • Hansen, Hanne. Stunder, haiku (Moments: Haiku). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2001.
  • Høeck, Klaus. Hjem. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1985.
  • Høeck, Klaus. Legacy. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 2015.
  • Høyer, Jon. Store ord i små munde, 100 haiku (Big Words in Small Mouths: 100 Haiku). Attika, 2008.
  • Johansson, Per-Olof. Syttens digte (Seventies Poems). Birkerød, Denmark, Forlaget per-olof.dk, 2008.
  • Kjær, Niels. Årets hjul: Udvalgte haiku (Wheel of the Year: Selected Haiku). BOD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2003, 2018.
  • Kjær, Niels. Årets ring. Copenhagen: BoD—Books on Demand, Danmark, 2012.
  • Kjær, Niels. Fnug, 72 haiku og tanka (Fluff: 72 Haiku and Tanka). Højbjerg, Denmark, Niels Kjær, 2008.
  • Kjær, Niels. Fodtur på Langenæs: Haibun (Hiking on Langenæs: Haibun). Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus-Texter, 2011.
  • Kjær, Niels. Små øjeblikke: 4 x 12 haiku (Small Moments: 4 x 12 haiku). N.p., 2003.
  • Krarup, Helge. Madumsuiten (Madum Suite). Ringkøbing, Denmark: Forlaget A. Rasmussens Bogtrykkeri, 2016. 105 haiku by Krarup and 24 landscape paintings by Erik Styrbjørn Pedersen.
  • Larsen, Kate. Fire årstider, haiku (Four Seasons: Haiku). Forlaget Katzen, 2012.
  • Larsen, Kate. Sensommerens månelys, 101 haikudigte (Late Summer Moonlight: 101 Haiku Poems). Copenhagen: Ravnerock, 2015.
  • Larsen, Mona. Bladene drypper, haiku (The Leaves Are Dripping: Haiku). Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2007.
  • Laugesen, Peter. Hamr & Hak. Copenhagen: Borgens Forlaget, 1977.
  • Laugesen, Peter. Konstrueret situation (Constructed Situation). Copenhagen: Borgens Forlaget, 1991.
  • Laugesen, Peter. Landskab (Landscape). Copenhagen: Borgens Forlaget, 1970.
  • Laugesen, Peter. Milesten (Milestones). Copenhagen: Borgens Forlaget, 1991.
  • Lille, Bo. For dvælesjæle—haiku til almen vederkvægelse (For the Souls of the Soul: Haiku for General Remorse). Odense, Denmark: Mellemgaard, 2012.
  • Lille, Bo. Haiku på dansk, med skævt smil og skæve øjne (Haiku in Danish, with a Crooked Smile and Crooked Eyes). Gudhjem, Denmark: Oneman, 2005.
  • Lillelund, Ole. Forandring, 777 haiku (Change: 777 Haiku). No place [Copenhagen]: Det Poetiske Bureau, 2011.
  • Lund Andersen, Jens. “Vintermotiver.” Hvedekorn 1959: 6, 203–4.
  • Lyngborg, Susanne. Epigrammer: Digte (Epigrams: Poems). No place [Valby, Denmark]: Permild & Rosengreen, 1977.
  • Madsen, Viggo. Haiku for enhver (Haiku for Everyone). Odense, Denmark: Mellemgaard, 2016.
  • Madsen, Viggo. Haiku for fremtiden (Haiku for the Future). Odense, Denmark: Mellemgaard, 2018.
  • Madsen, Viggo. Haiku og Børnerim (Haiku and Nursery Rhymes). Odense, Denmark: Den Fynske Forårsudstilling, 2008.
  • Malinovski, Ivan. Poetomatic. Copenhagen: Borgen, 1965. 110 poems, with quotes and other texts.
  • Matthiesen, Sys. Fanny og Felix (Fanny and Felix). Fredenborg, Denmark: Net-Bog-Klubben, 2002.
  • Matthiesen, Sys. Ingen tid til leg (No Time for Play). Fredenborg, Denmark: Net-Bog-Klubben, 2003.
  • Matthiesen, Sys. Mellem vinter og somme, haiku (Between Winter and Summer: Haiku). Fredenborg, Denmark: Net-Bog-Klubben, 2002.
  • Mønster, Lars. Betal med døden, haiku (Pay with Death: Haiku). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2008.
  • Mønster, Lars. Maj i en dråbe (May in a Drop). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2004.
  • Mønster, Lars. Det synlige nu (The Visible Now). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2009.
  • Mønster, Lars. Tanka.dk. Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2005. Tanka collection.
  • Nielsen, Lone Munksgaard. Rimgræs: Haiku (Rhizome: Haiku). Copenhagen: Lindhardt og Ringhof, 2003.
  • Nørgaard, Kirsten. “Haibun.” Hvedekorn 2007: 2.
  • Pedersen, Bjarne Kim. Min maidan affære / My Maidan Affair / Мій майданівский роман. Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2016. In Danish, English, and Ukrainian.
  • Pedersen, Bjarne Kim. punktum.dk. Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2013.
  • Pedersen, Bjarne Kim. SMS digte (SMS Poems). Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2012.
  • Pedersen, Bjarne Kim. Verden lige nu: sms haiku digte (The World Right Now: SMS Haiku Poems). Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2006.
  • Poulsen, Flemming Madsen. Haiku i farver (Haiku in Color). Vordingborg, Denmark: Attika, 2017.
  • Rompuy, Herman van. Haiku 2. Gent, Belgium: PoëzieCentrum, 2013.
  • Rompuy, Herman van. Haiku. Gent, Belgium: PoëzieCentrum, 2010.
  • Slaaen, Jette. Fruen danser ud, haiku (The Lady Dances Out: Haiku). Nyborg, Denmark: Strandholdt, 2004.
  • Slaaen, Jette. Smagen af jordbær (Taste of Strawberry). Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2011.
  • Sørensen, Pia Valentin. 117 zoologiske senryu (117 Zoological Senryu). Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2010.
  • Tafdrup, Pia. Boomerang, haiku. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 2007.
  • Turèll, Dan. Alhambra blues. Copenhagen: Borgens Forlaget, 1983.
  • Turèll, Dan. Karma cowboy. Copenhagen: Borgens Forlaget, 1974.
  • Urwald, Ann Mari. I mørket hviler lyset (Light Rests in the Darkness). Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2012.
  • Urwald, Ann Mari. Wintertime. Copenhagen: Forlaget Ravnerock, 2013.



  1. Ulrich, “Haiku,” Bazar 2 (Copenhagen, 1958). Note: all translations from Danish are by Thorvald Berthelsen unless otherwise stated. []
  2. This is clear from Brandt’s memoir, Mit liv (2007; My Life). []
  3. Brandt, Mit liv, 627. []
  4. Andersen, “Vintermotiver,” Hvedekorn 1959: 6, 203–4). []
  5. Hans-Jørgen Nielsen, “Haiku, En introduktion og 16 gendigtninger,” Hvedekorn 1961: 5, 150–52. []
  6. Hans-Jørgen Nielsen, Nye sprog, nye verdener—Udvalgte artikler om kunst og kultur (New Languages, New Worlds: Selected Articles on Art and Culture). 2006, 141. []
  7. Information, November 17, 2001. []
  8. Laugesen, Konstrueret situation, 1991. []
  9. Kobayashi Issa. Dugdråbeverden, haiku (Dewdrop World: Haiku), 2006. []
  10. Susanne Jorn, Efter Blæsten, 73. []
  11. The Danish translation is by Lyngborg; the English version is by Thorvald Berthelsen from the Danish. []
  12. Brøgger, Lotusøje (Lotus Eye), 1999. []
  13. Nielsen, Rimgræs: Haiku (Rhizome: Haiku), 2003. []
  14. From Tafdrup, Boomerang, haiku; translation by David McDuff, “Nordic Haiku,” on the Nordic Haiku in Translation blog: http://nordicvoices.blogspot.com/2009/04/nordic-haiku.html. []
  15. The Haiku Group of the Danish Authors’ Society, comp., Danish Haiku Today 2019. []
  16. Ibid. [] [] [] [] [] []
  17. Quote and haiku from Danish Haiku Today 2019. []
  18. Danish Haiku Today 2019. [] [] [] [] []
  19. “Sys Matthiesen” page on Dansk Haiku Net: http://www.haikudanmark.dk/kunstnerprofiler/sys_matthiesen.htm. []
  20. Modern Haiku 43:1 (Winter–Spring 2012), and later printed in Richard Gilbert, The Disjunctive Dragonfly, 2nd ed. (2013). []
  21. Ole Bundgaard. Haiku I: 366 New Danish Haiku. English translations by Mus White. (Los Angeles: P. H. Marsk / Vanløse, Denmark: Werkstatt, 2017). []
  22. Blade i vinden, 2011. []
  23. The book is available for free download on The Haiku Foundation website: http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/omeka/items/show/5797. []
Updated on September 4, 2020