His love of compact Japanese verse has earned him the nickname 'Haiku Herman', and soon the president of the European Council will be able to enjoy some of his own compositions with a musical accompaniment.
Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs meetings between the European Union's 28 members, writes on his Facebook page that “Haiku poetry is in line with my personality”. And Belgian composer Dirk Brossé was so moved by some of his compatriot's verse that he plans to set them to music.
“I recently read a book of haikus written by Herman Van Rompuy,” Mr Brossé told the Flanders News website. “That's where the idea came from. This has got nothing to do with Mr Van Rompuy being president. He's very modest and doesn't have the pretence of being a great poet.”
Haiku Cycle One will initially be available online only, with a second album also planned.