Here in São Paulo, Brazil we have an annual meeting and contest (usually in Spring) gathering about 400 haiku enthusiasts every time, adults and children. We have some explanations about the philosophy and history of haiku and then 20 minutes to compose one (in portuguese) after they give two themes (like seed, thunder, rose, swallow, sunset). The contest is divided in adult and children cathegory, with different themes to each. During judgement, we have presentation of people talking about haiku, art, nature, literature, and introducing new books. Children did origami and a theatre group presented Basho's haikus (about 5 minutes each haiku, not talking, just showing with corporal expression and cloths). We recieve inspiration, in the quest of the most perfect poem, from live music with oriental instruments like the zither, koto (a kind of harp) and shakuhati (bamboo flute). The prizes are a trophy, medal and books.

      Sopra o vento                The wind blows
    os pássaros correm           the birds go after
    atrás das sementes.         the seeds that flow.
(1st prize, 1994. By Rodrigo de A. Siqueira)

       O sol poente                   The sun is setting
   despede-se lentamente          It slowly takes its farewell
      do ipê no campo.                 From the one ipê. (*)
(8th prize, 1992. By Rodrigo A. Siqueira)

      Solidão no ninho                Alone in the nest
    o pássaro se assusta          the bird gets frightened
      no eco do trovão.             in the thunder's echo.
(2nd prize, 1991. By Rodrigo A. Siqueira)

Each thunder, loneliness and any other challenge that appears to the bird or to the human being is always in fact an oportunity to self growth and development of self-knowledge. Knowing our own weakness we'll be able to win any enemy. The challenges are part of the path and those who face them will be strong.

(*) Translation by John Howard (

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