The haiku

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The haiku

Post  eddie on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:38 pm

Putting the poetry into road safety

New York City's transport department is hoping to reduce accidents with a set of haikus, but does road safety inspire you to poetry?

Poetry: opening minds, elucidating experiences – and now also making New York a safer place. I feel actual joy at the news that the city's department of transport is installing a series of colourful signs featuring haikus by the artist John Morse in dangerous locations around New York, in the hope it will prompt passersby to travel the streets more safely.

Here's a selection (it's a PDF).

I love "Cyclist writes screenplay / Plot features bike lane drama / How pedestrian", but "A sudden car door, / Cyclist's story rewritten. / Fractured narrative" is also very clever. I'm sure seeing "Too averse to risk / To chance the lottery, yet / Steps into traffic" would make me think twice before dashing across a busy road, as would "Oncoming cars rush / Each a 3-ton bullet. / And you, flesh and bone."

I already had a soft spot for Morse, after he plastered Atlanta with bizarre and thought-provoking haikus last year ("Free debt counselling/ Take the important first step/ Beware signs like these"). Those in charge of NYC transport obviously felt similarly.

I just love this new scheme, and think we need something very similar in the UK. Turning my own cycling experience into verse – "Double decker bus / At Elephant & Castle / Alison falls off" – doesn't quite have the ring of Morse's haikus. Perhaps we can convince Boris to kick it off in London, though, if we come up with good enough examples. What've you got?

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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:14 pm

eddie wrote:Putting the poetry into road safety

Cyclist writes screenplay
Plot features bike lane drama
How pedestrian

A sudden car door,
Cyclist's story rewritten.
Fractured narrative

Too averse to risk
To chance the lottery, yet
Steps into traffic

Oncoming cars rush
Each a 3-ton bullet.
And you, flesh and bone.

I already had a soft spot for Morse, after he plastered Atlanta with bizarre and thought-provoking haikus last year

Free debt counselling
Take the important first step
Beware signs like these

Those in charge of NYC transport obviously felt similarly.

I just love this new scheme, and think we need something very similar in the UK.
Turning my own cycling experience into verse –

Double decker bus
At Elephant & Castle
Alison falls off –

doesn't quite have the ring of Morse's haikus.
Perhaps we can convince Boris to kick it off in London, though, if we come up with good enough examples.

What've you got?

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Re: The haiku

Post  eddie on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:25 pm

^
Hmm.

See how the cherry blossom mutely falls.

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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:26 pm

Hi eddie, I reformatted your post so I cold see the pattern


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Re: The haiku

Post  eddie on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:29 pm

Hi Moony.

Remind me what the formal syllabic structure of a haiku actually is. I've forgotten.

I see possibilities here.


Last edited by eddie on Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:33 pm

...here's some confessionals like those you posted:
5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

sack of potatoes
gripped to bike tank with left hand
sliding to the left

sports car with roof down
sliding faster each corner
triple spin around

push bike at fifty
green garbage bag as raincoat
riding home from work


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Re: The haiku

Post  eddie on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:38 pm

Get your thinking caps on, ATU brothers and sisters.

We needn't confine this to the subject of road traffic accidents.

Haikus on ATU itself might be illuminating.

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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:47 pm


sudden wind blows in
flinging leaves and strewing bark
heralding the rain

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Re: The haiku

Post  eddie on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:56 pm

^

Bravo! cheers

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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:02 pm

...is this the game where I say "your turn"? scratch

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Re: The haiku

Post  eddie on Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:09 pm

I'd love to join in, Moony, but I'm very tired. Worked a 10-hour shift on Saturday, crashed out when I got home. It's now 3am over here and, of course, I'm sleepless.

I have in the back of my mind a couple of haikus involving ATU contributors (affectionate, naturally), but my weary brain can't count the syllables right now. Tomorrow, perhaps.

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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:16 pm

..I finished worked yeasterday...all the stress I've been suppressing caught up immediately.
Take care eddie.

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Re: The haiku

Post  pinhedz on Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:29 am

There seem to be many haiku's that happen by accident:

Елицы во Христа
крестистеся, во Христа
облекостеся

All you who in Christ
Are baptized, you all also
are adorned in Christ

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Re: The haiku

Post  Constance on Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:43 am

In the library
Doing Chinese school homework.
Spots before my eyes.

How now my daughter
Patiently wielding pencil
While I hold my breath.

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Re: The haiku

Post  eddie on Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:15 am

Constance wrote:In the library
Doing Chinese school homework.
Spots before my eyes.

How now my daughter
Patiently wielding pencil
While I hold my breath.

Lovely! cheers

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Re: The haiku

Post  Constance on Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:31 am

Knocking head on desk,
Knashing teeth in agony.
Chinese really sucks.

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Re: The haiku

Post  Constance on Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:32 am

I read in the paper about the NYC traffic haiku, but the examples they gave weren't nearly as good as these.

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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:37 pm

Biography of Matsuo Basho
(http://www.poemhunter.com/matsuo-basho/biography/)



Bashō was born Matsuo Kinsaku around 1644, somewhere near Ueno in Iga Province. His father may have been a low-ranking samurai, which would have promised Bashō a career in the military but not much chance of a notable life. It was traditionally claimed by biographers that he worked in the kitchens. However, as a child Bashō became a servant to Tōdō Yoshitada, who shared with Bashō a love for haikai no renga, a form of cooperative poetry composition. The sequences were opened with a verse in the 5-7-5 mora format; this verse was named a hokku, and would later be renamed haiku when presented as stand-alone works. The hokku would be followed by a related 7-7 addition by another poet. Both Bashō and Yoshitada gave themselves haigō, or haikai pen names; Bashō's was Sōbō, which was simply the on'yomi reading of his samurai name of Matsuo Munefusa. In 1662 the first extant poem by Bashō was published; in 1664 two of his hokku were printed in a compilation, and in 1665 Bashō and Yoshitada composed a one-hundred-verse renku with some acquaintances.

Yoshitada's sudden death in 1666 brought Bashō's peaceful life as a servant to an end. No records of this time remain, but it is believed that Bashō gave up the possibility of samurai status and left home. Biographers have proposed various reasons and destinations, including the possibility of an affair between Bashō and a Shinto miko named Jutei, which is unlikely to be true. Bashō's own references to this time are vague; he recalled that "at one time I coveted an official post with a tenure of land", and that "there was a time when I was fascinated with the ways of homosexual love", but there is no indication whether he was referring to real obsessions or even fictional ones. He was uncertain whether to become a full-time poet; by his own account, "the alternatives battled in my mind and made my life restless". His indecision may have been influenced by the then still relatively low status of renga and haikai no renga as more social activities than serious artistic endeavors. In any case, his poems continued to be published in anthologies in 1667, 1669, and 1671, and he published his own compilation of work by him and other authors of the Teitoku school, Seashell Game, in 1672. In about the spring of that year he moved to Edo, to further his study of poetry.

On his return to Edo in the winter of 1691, Bashō lived in his third bashō hut, again provided by his disciples. This time, he was not alone; he took in a nephew and his female friend, Jutei, who were both recovering from illness. He had a great many visitors.

Bashō's grave in Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture

Bashō continued to be uneasy. He wrote to a friend that "disturbed by others, I have no peace of mind". He made a living from teaching and appearances at haikai parties until late August of 1693, when he shut the gate to his bashō hut and refused to see anybody for a month. Finally, he relented after adopting the principle of karumi or "lightness", a semi-Buddhist philosophy of greeting the mundane world rather than separating himself from it. Bashō left Edo for the last time in the summer of 1694, spending time in Ueno and Kyoto before his arrival in Osaka. He became sick with a stomach illness and died peacefully, surrounded by his disciples. Although he did not compose any formal death poem on his deathbed the following, being the last poem recorded during his final illness, is generally accepted as his poem of farewell:

tabi ni yande / yume wa kareno wo / kake meguru

falling sick on a journey / my dream goes wandering / over a field of dried grass



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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:39 pm

A cicada shell;
it sang itself
utterly away.

Matsuo Basho
Translated by R.H. Blyth



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Re: The haiku

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:41 pm

A field of cotton--
as if the moon
had flowered.

Matsuo Basho
Translated by Robert Hass





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