A Haiku For Black History Month 2020

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Before we leave February behind in the snow, we wanted to add one of our illustrated haiku posters to this year’s celebration of Black History Month.  As we’ve posted on these pages before, what began as the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson in 1926 to celebrate “Negro History Week”, Black History Month was expanded in 1976 to include the entire month of February. And, for each year’s month long celebration, ASALH, or the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, focuses on a central theme based on the Black experience, race relations and the many accomplishments and contributions of Black Americans throughout our history.  

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For this year’s theme, African Americans and the Vote, ASALH “. . . . marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement.  The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War.” What a fitting theme indeed for this Election Year!

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Our featured haiku poster from our 2008 Series beautifully depicts one aspect of a struggle many people fight for.  While Poet, Kali Huff’s words provide the hopeful message, James Ransome’s strikingly poignant illustration beautifully embodies her words. As Mr. Ransome states, “. . . . I wanted to illustrate something emotional. So I thought it would be best if I found a poem that symbolized African Americans’ struggles, or women’s struggles, or some group’s struggles. That’s what got my attention, this idea of struggling and succeeding against the odds.

Like the red lotus / I bloom from mud. A symbol / for struggle; new life

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To read other haiku from our archives highlighting Black History Month, Click Here! If you’re interested in purchasing this poster, its matching Note Card Collection, or any of our other Syracuse Poster Project haiku posters, Click here!

Thank you!

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Haiku for Valentine’s Day

Ambling with “the one”
my neighborhood is lovely
steal a quick kiss–now!

by David Pasinski (Fayetteville 2010)

Valentine’s Day! A day for stolen kisses, red roses and candy hearts, candle-lit dinners, whimsical cards and love poems. From our trove of wonderful haiku, we thought we’d come back to these very special Valentine Day haiku from our talented contributors:

From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2010), a whimsical haiku whose word-play has Valentine’s Day written all over it:

Alphabet clusters
beget confabulation
P.S., I Love You

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) poem beautifully elicits love and transcends the ordinary:

I chase the song of
life. My heart knows the hidden
path where love finds me.

Marilyn Shelton’s (Dunmore 2003) haiku sweetly catches a merry and colorful moment between two sweethearts:

Young opera moon,
you caught us stealing kisses
Under red awnings!

Speaking of sweethearts, our featured haiku poster is from our 2009 Series. Brightly illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Emily Meluch, now an illustrator and designer living in Cleveland, Ohio, the haiku was written by frequent contributor, Janine DeBaise. Inspired by the many small coffeehouses and restaurants found here in Syracuse, Janine writes, ”I like the sounds in those places — the clinking of the plates and mugs, the swirl of chatter as friends gather over steaming cups of tea or coffee. I was thinking about the way people have to lean close in that setting, to hear each other’s voices. I like the intimacy of that gesture, being close in a room crowded with people.”

Amidst the chatter / and clink of white coffee mugs / I drink your voice in

Check out our other “love” themed haiku posters by clicking here.  If you haven’t picked up a Valentine’s Day card yet, create something original for your sweetheart by using one of our free, downloadable Valentine’s Day cards like this one from one of our graphic designers, Jiaqi Liu, a native of China, who exercised her dual language skills to come up with this cute Valentine’s Day card featuring a punning owl. “Punny”, isn’t it? 

Click here to download this colorful card!  Click here to see some of our other do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day cards! You add the words, we’ll do the rest!

Wherever love finds you on this Valentine’s Day, enjoy and live, laugh, love!

Trees roots growth love home
Sisters shouting in the yard
Laughing joyously

by Sylvia O’Connor (Manlius 2014)

Haiku For A Winter’s Day

Ice and snow and howling winds — oh, my! Just when the sun peeks out for a day or two, Winter strikes back for one more round of cold, grey days. We’ve written here before of Winter’s many faces and while daylight is lasting longer–thank goodness–this singular season is anything but over! So, before we bid adieu to February blizzards, black ice, wind chill, freak rain storms, thick fog and ice tsunamis, here is one more wintry blog to enjoy.

From our archives of submitted haiku:

With Jean Fahey’s (Syracuse 2017) haiku, the brilliant warmth of a Winter sun on a crisp and clear morning after days of snow is wonderful—-take out your sunglasses!

the dazzling sunlight
after snowstorm is over
makes diamonds of snow

If you have little kids, you’ll know that by wearing one’s pj’s inside out all snowy night long, there’s a good chance of a sensational snow-day tomorrow…you can almost hear the groans of disappointment in Erin McConnell’s (LaFayette 2010) haiku:

Up early for school.
Snowplow rumbles on the road.
No snow-day today.

A cold, wintry scene is set in Marsha Egan’s (Cicero 2009) dramatic haiku:

Snow blankets the earth:
the brittle silence is broken
by passing footsteps.

Winter storms aren’t complete without a little wind howling through bare trees and underneath the roof eaves! Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius 2019) wrote this haiku during one such storm:

Wild winter winds crashed
through the trees knocked on my door
Delivered fresh snow

Our featured haiku poster—-from our 2012 Series—-says it all on a cold, snowy day in late February! The poem was written by our frequent haiku contributor, Michele Reed, and illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Anna Rettberg, now a busy and successful illustrator living in Seattle. See more of her wonderful work here.

Hear the snow crunch / underfoot as I’m walking / I dream of the beach

We’ll leave you with this artistic point of view from Mary Taitt (Grosse Pointe Farms, 2011):

Snowflakes in simple
brushstrokes sweep over drifts, pile
in long arching curves.

Stay Warm — only 21 more days ‘til Spring!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For A Valentine

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Valentine’s Day–a sweetheart of a day, dedicated to the celebration of love! Symbolized by red hearts and roses, chocolate kisses and candle-lit dinners, whimsical cards and love poems, it’s one of our favorite days of the year!

Haiku being our forte, we’re often searching our archives for poems and haiku posters that perfectly fit an occasion or holiday. For this St. Valentine’s Day post, we come back to these wonderful haiku from our talented contributors.

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) poem beautifully elicits love and transcends the ordinary:

I chase the song of
life. My heart knows the hidden
path where love finds me.

From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2010), a whimsical haiku whose word-play has Valentine’s Day all over it:

Alphabet clusters
beget confabulation
PS I Love You

Frequent haiku contributor, Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) sweetly notes a merry and colorful moment between two sweethearts:

Young opera moon,
you caught us stealing kisses
Under red awnings!

And, Sandra Hewett’s haiku (Syracuse 2014) sets the scene for a memorable Valentine’s Day dinner:

Candles glow brightly
On the table as we eat
Faces full of love

Speaking of love and romance, it might be frightfully cold outside, but our featured 2007 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you up on this St. Valentine’s Day. The poet is long-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier; the poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Bret Supranowicz, now working as a designer and illustrator in New York City.

Beneath many stars / diners feast on sweet music / in Armory Square

If you’re stuck for an idea for something special to give your sweetheart, feel free to download one of our specially commissioned St. Valentine’s Day cards here. As we have done in years past, each of our Valentine’s Day cards are created with a wonderful background and enough space to give you an opportunity to write your own love poem. Our 2019 card can be downloaded here. It was artfully designed by Jiaqi Liu, our Spring semester graphic design intern.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project