Haiku for Columbus Day

Autumn has finally settled here in Syracuse. With its tendency towards capricious weather and warm-colored landscapes, you could say that October is the official beginning of the ‘holidaze’ season — from Columbus Day to New Year’s Day!

Speaking of Columbus Day, did you know that this October event became a national holiday in 1937? And that groundbreaking for our very own Columbus Circle–with its wonderful bronze homage to the explorer–took place on Columbus Day, 1932?!

Exploring our haiku archives, (no pun intended), Columbus and Columbus Circle have often been highlighted over the years by several Syracuse Poster Project poets and artists. What better way to celebrate today’s holiday by featuring a couple of them here!

A bronzed Columbus2006Gaurnier_Shuback
in front of the Cathedral
found by stray pigeon

The poem, by Robert Gaurnier,
contains a wonderful play on words, don’t you think? As the poet mused for this 2006 Series poster, “….Columbus….sailed a long way to find this land only to be now found by pigeons.”

The poster, created by former Syracuse University student,
Jeremy Shuback, handily “….
capture(s) one side of Syracuse and
one side of Mr. Gaurnier’s fantastic
haiku.”  (Read more about Jeremy
and what he’s been up to since his
days at SU, here.)

 

2009Miori-Merola_Ceneta

 

Roosting in bare trees
Over Columbus Circle
The crows are black leaves.

We think you’ll agree, this 2013 Series haiku poster beautifully illustrates the poet’s words.  It also highlights the strong character of Columbus Circle and its ofttimes, serene atmosphere. The artist, former Syracuse University
student, Danielle Ceneta, now a New York-based artist, has even created the feel of an “…Italian piazza…” in this poster–exactly what the original designers had hoped to achieve with this space.

Doreen Miori-Merola wrote the sensory-driven haiku and describes her experience: “…Looking around, I noticed that the trees had already lost (what I thought was) almost all of their leaves. Then there was a loud noise. I’m not even sure what it was. The sound startled this incredibly large flock of black crows that had been roosting in the bare trees around the old library. Suddenly Columbus Circle came alive with the fluttering of black feathers. It reminded me that perhaps we are never truly alone. The haiku developed in my head with that momentary sensory experience.”

If you’re on our mailing list, or follow us on social media, you know that Syracuse Poster Project strives to bring our community together through art and poetry.  We are fortunate to have so many poets who use haiku as a way of confirming their affection for Syracuse and the Central New York area, its well known landmarks and festivals, its many diverse parks and neighborhoods, our wonderful music and art scene.  We hope you enjoyed this brief history guide, if you will, of our city’s tribute to Columbus!

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Sparkling Lights of the Season

This Holiday Season, Central New York has been white, grey and cold!  Fortunately, December traditionally warms us up a bit as it sparkles with the twinkling glow of Menorah Candles, the soft gleam of red, black and green Candles of Kwanzaa, and with the brightly colored lights wrapped ‘round a freshly cut Yuletide Tree.  As Teddi Caltabiano (Liverpool 2011) writes:

     Sidewalks gleam                                                                                                                                                                 Holiday lights softly shine                                                                                                                                              Christmas in the ‘Cuse

A nighttime drive through Syracuse’s snowy streets can indeed be a visual delight. Varicolored Christmas lights and decorations adorn neighborhood lawns, lampposts, doorways and rooftops.  Lit up Christmas Trees can be spied through curtained windows and storefronts, too.  From our 2004 Series of Posters, artist Elizabeth Crosby beautifully captures such a scene using poet, Beth Miller’s captivating words:

A Christmas Tree glows / Through windows of memory / Jasper Street – my home

2004-miller_crosby

A drive around Clinton Square on a snowy December night will make you smile, too, as warmly dressed ice skaters, laughing and singing, fly past the City’s brightly lit Christmas Tree.  This giant of a tree is covered from top to bottom with glistening lights of red, blue, green, yellow! It’s the perfect backdrop for the Square’s rink as delightfully imagined in this poster from our 2003 Series.  The haiku was written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Erick Ledesma, now a busy Studio Artist living in his homeland of Puerto Rico.

around Clinton Square / flakes of falling snow dissolve / on Christmas tree lights

2003_gaurnier_ledesma

And, lest we forget, Nan Gartner (Fayetteville 2010) reminds us of the warm light of the moon, too:

     December snowflakes                                                                                                                                                       Fall by moonlight on late night                                                                                                                                    strollers in the square

Wishing you a de-light-ful Holiday Season!

Waiting for Spring to Spring!

Around Central New York this year, Spring seems slow in showing up.  Digging through our large archive of wonderful haiku, this 2013 poem by Joan Dear-Houseman (Chittenango) is striking in its description of how unhurried a start to Spring it’s been this year:

 Mittens on my hands,                                                                                                                                                Contradicts the month of May.                                                                                                                                Will Spring ever come?

The sudden demise of early Spring flowers saddened many of us…thank goodness for the brilliant cheer of our fine-feathered friends as depicted in this playful 2013 haiku by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sam Donnelly (Syracuse):

On a frosted branch                                                                                                                                                          A love-sick chickadee croons–                                                                                                                                    You-hoo, babe, it’s Spring!

And, if you don’t see anything blooming brightly yet in your neck of the woods, look closer–as Robert Gaurnier (Syracuse) does in his illustrative 2003 haiku:

  Ducks in Webster’s Pond                                                                                                                                         dive under the Spring sunshine                                                                                                                             tail ends sprouting up

Still looking for Spring?  Check your lawn, where crazy as it may sound, dandelions have already begun to seed!  David Hitchcock (Fayetteville) vividly captures this disparaged Spring flower in his 2009 haiku:

  Dandelions spring,                                                                                                                                    disturb the tranquil green lawn                                                                                                                        with cheeky yellow.

One of our lovely Spring posters comes from our 2014 Syracuse Poster Project series. The haiku was written by James & Barbara Yonai (Syracuse) in 2011 and illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Emily Rhain Andrews, now a Vermont based freelance illustrator.

Spring comes, flowers bloom / deer dine on floral buffet / gardeners must pay

374_17_Yonai_Andrews

Finally, as we wait for Spring to spring, consider the hopeful words of this 2010 haiku by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor Joan Loveridge‐Sanbonmatsu’s (Syracuse)

  Spring rains gently coax                                                                                                                                               earth for purple primroses                                                                                                                                         to open anew

How do you wait for Spring to spring? Send us your thoughts in a haiku and we’ll add it to our blog!