Hot Haiku

Summertime, when days are warm and humid…we’ve had a few of them here in Central New York recently.  It’s days like these that make Summer simmer (no pun intended)!  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that we often highlight seasonal themes, sometimes focusing on singular characteristics of the season we’re in. Hot, humid and hazy Summer days happen to be the subject of many haiku found in our archives contributed by Central New York poets.  We thought it would be timely to add these to our Blog before Summer ‘daze’ slip away.

There’s a unique sound to warm Summer days. You can practically hear the sultriness in this fine haiku written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):

waves of locust songs                                                                                                                                                                          ebb and flow with no excuse                                                                                                                                                       except Summer heat

Along with spindly grasshoppers, the sound of crickets and cicadas are even more noticeable when days are long and warm.  It’s easy to imagine the captivating scene detailed in Anna Pyrohanych’s (Auburn) colorful 2012 haiku:

Sun sets, moon rises–                                                                                                                                                                  Shimmer across still waters…                                                                                                                                                       Summer crickets sing

When there’s a stretch of days in the high 80’s, even the inevitable thunderstorm offers little relief, as perfectly described in Karl Krohl’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku:

Thunderheads tower                                                                                                                                                                           Summer, a breathless haze–still                                                                                                                                                            the cicadas drone

From our 2006 Poster Series, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lauren Katz, beautifully conceived Jane Cassady’s (Philadelphia 2005) fine haiku:

Humid moon rises / over the stopped clock tower / like a real city

89_04_Cassady _Katz

Now that it’s August, you can forget the heat with this delightful haiku by another frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Mary Gardner (Skaneateles 2003):

Heat hung low and haze                                                                                                                                                                    Hinders not these hearts at play–                                                                                                                                                   Music in the square

Speaking of music, don’t let the heat deter you from enjoying the other sounds of Summer as Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2008) haiku vividly describes:

Sizzling riffs from sax                                                                                                                                                                            “Jazz in the City” heats up                                                                                                                                                                        Cool, full moon evening

Finally, there’s no doubt we’ve all shared Michele Reed’s (Oswego) feelings from time to time as crisply expressed in her 2015 haiku:

sound of cicadas                                                                                                                                                                                       on a sultry Summer’s eve                                                                                                                                                                        and I dream of snow

What do you find distinctive about warm Summer days?  However you spend these remaining hot, hazy ‘daze’, stay cool!

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Our April Event!

Syracuse Poster Project is proud to announce the unveiling of its 2016 collection on Thursday, April 14.  Our festivities will be a gathering of poets, artists, friends and other supporters of public art.  Food, drink, music and of course, a display and haiku reading of each of the 16 new posters will be served!  This year’s merriment begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Atrium of City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington Street, Syracuse.  Click here and here to see photos from a few of our past openings and recent kiosk displays.  

We hope you will join our celebration of this year’s series!  In addition to our “traditional method” of creating posters from contributed haiku, this year’s collection includes another poster created by what we like to refer to as a “reverse process” poster–meaning, we solicited haiku to complement an illustration.  We added this unique process to our annual call for haiku in 2009.  Two of our many favorites created by “reverse process” are:

From the 2009 collection: Keely Bowman, poet and Donald Kilpatrick, artist

Branches reach for you / A forest of decisions / Which tree will you climb?

30_01_Bowman_Kilpatrick

And, from the 2012 collection: Sara Parrott, poet and Skip Frost, artist–

Community builds / bridges of thought between us, / hope for the future.

274_10_Parrott_Frost

Our 2016 reverse process poster was created by artist and Syracuse University adjunct professor, Tim Coolbaugh. His captivating poster was spotlighted last August on our blog post: Meet the Illustrator of Our Dog Rescue Poster.  In response to Tim’s poster, we received over 70 haiku submissions; five semi-final haiku were selected and then passed along to the artist for his decision.  Of these five, Aubrey Joy Cooper’s (Auburn) haiku was selected to accompany Tim’s poster.

Dare I hope again? / Human eyes reveal few truths. / Still, I hope once more.

Here are the other four (4) semi-final haiku:

Roaming the streets, lost / Looking for love, a fiend, warmth / Today…a new home.               Michael Brigandi, Syracuse

…and we have a cat. / So, that’s the whole family. / Let’s go home–my friend.                              Karl Krohl, Syracuse

Driving through the ‘Cuse / A shelter dog by my side. / A life worth saving.                                         Justin Blok, East Syracuse

A neglectful past / A hopeful future awaits / Rescued, loved again                                                  Philip Andon-McLane, Syracuse

Our thanks to the many poets who submitted haiku for the 2016 poster series.  We had an excellent response: approximately 100 of you submitting a total of 168 fresh haiku! Combined with submissions from past years, we had a total of 371 poems to pass along to our Syracuse Univeristy Illustration students whose efforts this year–as you will see–were outstanding!  Our thanks to these talented student artists and their faculty members who have worked closely with Syracuse Poster Project since our very beginnings–we are fortunate and blessed to have you!  Finally, our thanks to our wonderful volunteers without whom this event would not have been possible!

See you Thursday night!