Vol. 8, No. 14, Summer 2011
Zlata Bogović, Pjesma slavuja / Nightingale's Song; publisher: TIVA Tiskara Varaždin; editor: Đurđa Vukelić-Rožić; illustrations: Božena Zernec; cover: Magali Tolić; translations: Željko Funda, Marinko Španović, Đurđa Vukelić-Rožić; ISBN 978-953-7304-81-2.
Vladimir Devidé (1925–2010), Croatia
Review of the manuscript of haiku collection by Zlata Bogović from Varaždin
The manuscript contains 254 haiku, in Croatian and English; about 33 of them written in the Kajkavian dialect.
Most of these haiku have been published in the joint collections for haiku poetry in Krapina and Kloštar Ivanić and in joint collections of haiku gatherings in Samobor and Ludbreg. Furthermore, they have been published in the haiku magazine HAIKU and IRIS, a join collection of Kusamakura International Haiku Contests in Japan and on the Internet. A number of them have been awarded at domestic and international competitions for haiku.
Many haiku written by Zlata Bogović show us a very delicate sensibility of annotation of the “haiku moment”, as for example:
Ice wind / sharpening the cold through / the icicles on the gutter.
Raindrops / washing a dirty window pane / and a black spider.
There are very delicate observations as in:
Flying low / a swallow touched the water / before departure.
The following haiku has been awarded Tokusen-the second prize at International Kusamakura Haiku Contest 2002:
Melted snow / seeing off winter / down the river.
Some of the haiku from the collection exit from the frame of classical haiku themes, for example, erotic:
Couple embracing, / traveling / love hormones.
Or, nonconformist with regard to the cannons that in haiku have no reflection:
Neanderthal / man and inhuman / children in their cradle.
That of course does not mean that there is no place in the collection for such three verses, because, it is not unusual to notice – in different types of poetry – the usual borders have been crossed which, however, may operate and stimulate, although – in general – not much of such becomes widely accepted and does not survive. The same could be said for senryu from this collection, for example:
Princess of Wale died / who cares about England / long live the Princ!
The haiku collection by Zlata Bogović presents us with a ripe haiku poetess, and her haiku poems are a valuable contribution to Croatian haiku poetry as a whole. Therefore, I recommend it most warmly for publishing.
Zagreb, October 9, 2006
Vasile Moldovan, Romania
LIFE IN HARMONY WITH THE WORLD
By vocation, Zlata Bogovic is an economist. It may be the reason she put her haiku collection into publishing so late. The poetess has not been rushing; she has had patience with her own creations. And it is correct to be so. Such being the case, her poems being similar to pearls, have been brought to light after a long time of labor. The poetess has been writing in her own inner rhythm. Because of this, many of her haiku have an authentic brilliance even as the natural pearls.
Little by little, the haiku poems call each other. And here they are now, all set together in a beautiful and substantial poetry book. After a decade of poetical apprenticeship, a lapse of time while Zlata Bogovic won several international awards and mentions, her artistic personality has perfected itself, coming to a new light.
Human life recovers itself in Bogović’s poems in two aspects, at least. The first is (human) life in harmony with the whole world, with the sky and earth, with the plants and creatures and so on. As the story goes, man and nature are in an organic connection. This truth has been very well emphasized in several haiku. A well-known symbol of this is an open window. With its help man feels the presence of nature, even communicates with it:
An open window:
the wind brings fragrance
and rose petals
on the window of sadness
An open window
A dove landed onto a pitcher
full of water
Not only people integrate with nature but more wild animals and pets live in harmony with nature. It is their great wisdom. Here, for example:
A cat and puppy
dozing in the shade in the grass –
A cricket and sparrow
on the branch
Children usually like living in harmony. They rejoice in everything; fly a kite, pick mushrooms and do origami with the same enthusiasm, specific to their age. In the proper way the Croatian children rejoice very much while it is snowing. A white snowfall is a symbol of their innocence:
are falling today-
But in nature it is similar to society; life does not wear rose tinted spectacles, most of the time. In both areas there is a permanent fight. The poetess perceives life under dramatic aspects too. In nature there are many antagonistic elements. Sometimes everything looks like a play but often there is a grim fight between the creatures and natural phenomena, between the animals and hunters etc. In these cases life becomes a true corrida bullfight. Here is a primrose in a pot. It isn’t free. But it absorbs sunrays thirstily to survive. Its life isn’t easy, but this beautiful flower fights hard for life.
In another poem a white water lily grows in the marsh. There is a strong contrast here, between a flower as white as virgin snow and the grey of swamp water, between clean and muddy. And here us a bitter similar contrast:
A white seagull
in the dark night
In several poems Zlata Bogovic catches a world of contrasts. For example, a woodcutter appears in the forest. The wasps feel like doing something. So they defend their nest against people’s intervention. Somewhere else the wind carries the wasps’ nest over the flowering meadow. In both cases the wasps, considered an enemy for people appear like victims. Reading about it we really feel more compassion. There is a scarecrow in the field. But some sparrows live there. This is their native place. That is why they (re)build their nest just there, near by the scarecrow, accepting any consequences.
The fight for existence means not knowing when to stop. So the cat chases not only a grasshopper but also its shadow. Other plunderers, the herons watch the frogs which croak. The frogs are in love. Listening to the love song, the birds of prey are ready to go hunting. So much cruelty! But in animals as in people the instinct of self-preservation does not know pity. In the poetess’ opinion nature is sometimes an Earthy Paradise, but at other times it is a true battlefield for survival. The spider, exactly black spider, is a dauntless fighter in this war without end. And the cobweb is just like Hell. Here is a gloomy image that reminds us of the fight between David and Goliath. But in this case little David loses the struggle for life:
In the cobweb
the entangled tiny wings
of a baby honeybee
The enemy is even more dangerous if unseen. Through these poems created by sorrow, Zlata Bogović familiarizes her readers with the atmosphere of authentic haiku.
Đurđa Vukelić-Rožić, Croatia
ABOUT ZLATA BOGOVIĆ HAIKU COLLECTION
Varaždin's poetess Zlata Bogović is a well-known author in her town Varaždin, to which she writes and sings about. Her short stories, poetry and lyrics put to music have entered the souls of Varaždin’s citizens. She is also a long time member of Varaždin's Writer's Circle, acknowledged by her colleagues. And of course, she is a good haiku poetess.
It should be emphasized that the haiku poetry by Zlata Bogović is well known for its quality and beauty not only in Varaždin, but in Croatia as well. She has been awarded at a haiku contest in Krapina, Haiku Day of Dubravko Ivančan and several others and at the Kloštar Ivanić Haiku Contests, both for haiku in the Croatian and Kajkavian dialect. Her haiku have brought noted awards from Japan to her hometown, as well.
She cherishes the dialect she was raised in her Varaždin, writing about the ways of living from yesterday’s childhoods, not only about work and happenings and relations among people, but also among the animals in a rich backyard full of life. Zlata writes about the ties between man and Nature. Talking in Varaždin’s Kajkavian dialect, with her haiku she speaks about man’s dependability on Nature, and about his awareness of this fact. This is very important, because it is a true understanding of the haiku way of life - to be able to see oneself in a real relationship with great and mighty Nature, and to experience oneself as a creature who is not on Earth forever and not all he touches belongs to him, not everything can he take for himself.
Zlata Bogović has been writing about the people of her time and those who will be born into this world in the future, in her very special way and through experienced haiku moments, that should not be forgotten. She writes her haiku moments in a simple way, talking openly and sincerely.
Zlata Bogović attends all gatherings, festivals, meetings of haiku poets in Croatia, taking part in haiku contests as well. Her haiku have been published in joint collections in Samobor, Ludbreg, Krapina, Obrovac and Kloštar Ivanić, she takes part at International haiku contests in English in Japan and the rest of the world as well. Her haiku can be read on the Internet. With much love, in her very special way she presents her hometown Varaždin. Her haiku collection is the crown of her long term work and it deserves the special attention of the public.
Ivanić Grad, August 30, 2010
Zvonko Petrović (1925–2009), Croatia
Review of the manuscript of the haiku collection by Zlata Bogović from Varaždin
Why is haiku present in almost the whole world? To those who write haiku, the answer is very clear: this type of poetry indicates we live in harmony with Nature, we feel its beauty and changes and experience sudden visions which sprout spontaneously and which, when man looks for them, cannot be found.
Melted snow / seeing off winter / down the river.
On the flying leaf / travels the morning / dew drop.
Broken wings - /the other herons flying / to the South.
Through a thick tree top / a little sunshine beaming / upon an owl.
The rain stopped. / A worm exits / from the lettuce.
All this is telling us the poetess experiences her environment spontaneously and intuitively, and this way she enters the world of haiku pictures in the moments of the present time.
The poetess writes the three verses in a 5-7-5 syllables but in a free style, as well. Reading her haiku poetry we may meet the haiku threeverse with only four words and 11 letters:
The river / locked / under the ice.
Winter morning / awoken up by / the sleet.
Haiku In the shadow of an apple / to cool down / - a little worm. has 10 syllables.
It is interesting to highlight the fact that the manuscript has also 33 haiku in the Kajkavian dialect:
Summer rain. / A snail without a shell / in a haughty manner.
A vine sweats, / it bluntly rings in the barrel - / waiting for the vintage.
On a country road / black darkness and / a barking dog.
Zlata Bogović writes verse in three verses, but talking about haiku, they are very interesting three verses with surprising contents:
The squid / smiling rapturously at / the sardine, before lunch.
A young man's hand / has found peace/ on a warm thing.
Couple embracing, / traveling / love hormones.
Her mouth closed / grandmother / snores in the armchair.
A creaky wheel / of an old bicycle - / a boy runs after it.
Mentioning the different contents, we should remind ourselves one year there was an open contest for haiku about soccer.
Therefore, the themes may be this or that way, but in general, they become forgotten soon. What gives continuity to haiku poetry is Nature, a relationship of haiku with elementary phenomena of Nature.
In Varaždin, October 15, 2006