Wim Lofvers

(9 August 1930 – 24 April 2007)


“Another name for a haiku could be ‘biogram’, since it is the smallest possible description of an essential moment in the poet’s life; and threading a series of them on a string would give the reader a reasonably exact description of the author’s way in life.”

(Blithe Spirit, Vol. 11, No 4, December 2001)


Wim Lofvers was born on 9 August 1930 in Sneek, province of Frisia, the Netherlands. He was a naval doctor in the former Dutch New Guinea (now West Papua), and worked as a general practitioner in Norway and in the Netherlands province of Frisia. His interest in the spiritual things was based mainly on anthroposophy, Buddhism and Zen-Buddhism. His interest in haiku began when in 1956 he received as a birthday present a small German edition of Japanese haiku, Vollmond und Zikadenklänge [Full Moon and the Sound of Ciccadas].  In 1981, Wim created his own private press -  ’t Hoge Woord, which he started with the intention of publishing haiku. Since his retirement in 1993 he has spent most of his time there, doing just that. His interests lie mainly with micro-editions, among others, the 'Radish' series, in which haiku poets can present 25 - 28 of their haiku in a pocket-sized book. Another production was the annual 'Spreeuwenagenda' (Starling Haiku Diary) with several editions so far. While serving as the president for the Haiku Kring Nederland (Haiku Circle Netherlands) from 1996 to 2000 he got acquainted with many poets and discovered how interesting it was to study and publish other people’s work. This led to the foundation of an independent international haiku journal by himself and Milivoj Objedovic, a Croatian refugee living in Holland. This biannual international haiku journal, called 'Woodpecker - Journal for sharing haiku' (1995-2002) published haiku by poets from all over the world, in native languages as well as in English. It soon became the most truly international haiku forum in the world at the time, supporting and spreading the development of world haiku, its philosophy and aesthetics.


Wim Lofvers died on 24 April 2007.




Radijs” – by 't Hoge Woord is a new series of micro-books of haiku designed, and produced by Wim Lofvers, Bakhuizen, The Netherlands;

Toetssteen / Keywords” by Gerla Brakkee, Fred Flohr, Wilhelm Haupt, Emile Mollhuysen, Jan-Berger Troost, Max Verhart, Arnold Vermeeren, designed by Emile Molhuysen, printed by Wim Lofvers;

SOMS weet ik het even (SOMETIMES for a moment I know)” - 't Hoge Woord, Bakhuizen (2006) – a collection of 650 haiku.


Selected haiku:


Nobody around
I start a conversation
with the carthorse

(Woodpecker 1995:1)


deze weg voert
naar plekken zonlicht, gejaagd
door wolkenschaduw


this road leads
to patches of sunlight
chased by clouds

(Haiku Troubadours 2000,Ginyu Press 2000)


foar it fresco
krekt nij skildere
- it earste gebed


before the fresco
just painted afresh
the first prayer

(Frogpond XXIV;1 (2001)


the choir left
but the singing remains
in the May evening

(Blithe Spirit, Vol. 11, No 4, December 2001)


November mist
written in the field
a mole's message

(Woodpecker1997:2; Modern Haiku 38:2, 2007)


still warm
from a hand


the mopped floor
still holds the print of
your bare feet

(Red Moon Press postscripts series vol. 2, 2008)