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Friday, 16th April 2010
In General Japan News,

EU president launches Japanese poem book

The president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has launched a book of Japanese-style haiku poems after turning his hand from politics to writing.

Van Rompuy, who used to be prime minister of Belgium, wrote the book - simply titled Haiku - over the past few months and it contains almost 50 of his personal poems.

Japanese haiku poems are recognisable from the strict guidelines the writers follow, which is a structure of a certain number of syllables in each line of the verse. The first line must contain five syllables, the second seven and the final line, five again. All haikus are three lines long.

The leader's poems are to be published in English, Dutch, French, German and Latin. Speaking at the launch of his book, Van Rompuy said: "A haiku poet, in politics, cannot be extravagant, nor super-vain, nor extremist."

Haiku-style poems are thought to have been first invented by a Japanese monk.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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