Haiku Herman

Mr Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, is such a lover of haiku that he has earned himself the nickname of Haiku Herman.

I suppose his original haiku, in Dutch, follows the 17-syllable (5-7-5 in three lines) rule. The translated works do not. Understandably.

Apart from his haiku, there are a few things about Mr Van Rompuy that interest me:

His creative process: "I write haiku in the evening, just before sleeping, and I wake up with the poem of the day before," Mr Van Rompuy says. "In my sub-conscious lots of things are working."

Reason for his love of haiku: Mr Van Rompuy has written that haiku represent for him the "unattainable ideal of simplicity" and "an aversion to the sophisticated and over-competitive world". "It's a very sober form of poetry and because I am some kind of sober-minded personality, I like it. It fits with my personality," he says.

His personality: This is what a BBC article wrote about Mr Van Rompuy: "A devout Catholic, he goes on regular retreats at Affligem Abbey. He didn't campaign for the job of EU president, and until the Belgian king talked him into becoming PM, he appeared to be drifting towards a comfortable retirement dominated by books, religion, country walks and family life."

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