Ewa Tomaszewska (1957 - 2013)

Ewa TomaszeskaEwa Tomaszewska was a poet, translator and essayist with quite a score of titles to her name. One of her greatest passions was haiku and her strongest inspiration was Polish romantic poetry and Catholic faith.

At the beginning of 21st century she edited the first national anthology of Polish haiku “Antologia polskiego haiku” (Anthology of Polish Haiku, 2001) including a very important preface about Japanese Culture and its influence on Polish literature and art. The anthology proved to be a crucial source of information on the history of haiku in Poland and showcased more than six hundred haiku and haiku-like poems by nearly eighty Polish authors spanning over ninety-six years (1905 to 2001).

In 1993 Ewa Tomaszewska also compiled and translated Antologia kanadyjskiego haiku (An

Anthology of Canadian Haiku) and later on, one of European haiku. She also published some of her own work (the first one in 1981) in English in international journals; a beautiful essay on Chinese ink painting included in Studnia zakryta kamieniem (The Well Covered With Stone), Miniatura, Kraków 2000; a bilingual haiku anthology "Raising the moonlight" (2003) as well as a bilingual volume (Polish and English) of her own work: Jeszcze dzień błyszczy (the day still shining. HAIKU), Miniatura, Kraków 2005.

When Ewa died on 12 December 2013 the world of haiku lost an unforgettable poet and a very passionate writer who did a great deal to promote haiku both nationally and internationally.

Ewa’s Publications:

  • Pocałunek księcia nocy (The Kiss of Night Prince), MAW, Warszawa 1988;
  • Haiku Seminar, Chojnów, Ewa’s lecture: Japanese Inspiration in European Culture and Arts, 24 of October 1998;
  • Podzielona róża (Divided Rose), W drodze, Poznań 1999;
  • Studnia zakryta kamieniem (The Well Covered With Stone), Miniatura, Kraków 2000;
  • Antologia polskiego haiku (The Polish Haiku Anthology), Nozomi, Warszawa 2001;
  • Jeszcze dzień błyszczy (the day still shining. HAIKU), Miniatura, Kraków 2005;
  • Gwiazda za gwiazdą. Antologia haiku europejskiego (Star By Star. European Haiku Anthology), editors and translators: Piotr W. Lorkowski, Ewa Tomaszewska with preface by Max Verhart, with cooperation of Leszek Engelking and Others, Miniatura, Kraków 2005;
  • Czas i obecność. Wiersze wybrane (Time and Presence. Selected Poems), Miniatura, Kraków 2007;
  • 100 Classical Haiku by Yuzuru Miura in Ewa’s translation, Miniatura, Kraków 2010;
  • Zwoje podróżne. Haibun (The Journey Scrolls. Haibun), Miniatura, Kraków 2012;
  • Ewa’s 9 Haiku in Whirligig, Multilingual Haiku Journal with the note by Max Verhart (Vol. V-2 November 2014), Netherlands.

Selected haiku:

Garden seed
missed by the birds
just now germinates

A swallow flies out
from the entrance to a crypt –
ruins of Knossos

Chilly courtyard
bluebottles banister and a scarf
take leave of me

nights rains pour
upon my windowsill –
the play of the wind

the poet's wages:
a night of solitude and
a glint of moon

baby bottle nipple
lost on the street –
the milky river

distant monastery:
above the frozen river
the white wings

(All of Ewa's haiku above are from "the day still shining. haiku", by Ewa Tomaszewska, published by Miniatura, 2005, ISBN 83-7081-733-5.)

Most information for this profile has been kindly provided by Agnieszka Żuławska-Umeda and Marta Chociłowska and we are very grateful for their time and dedication!