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The NYDOT Presents: Curbside Haiku
November 30, 2011 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Safety Warning Signs
Sprout From NYC Street Poles
It's Curbside Haiku!

The artist: John Morse.
His last project was Roadside
Haiku
: Atlanta.

Readers offer take
in Times' blog entry comments.
Make for fun reading.
posted by zarq (43 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Haiku lines must breath.
Poser counts to seventeen;
Poet makes words count.
posted by cortex at 3:55 PM on November 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Morse plays mostly fair
Grynbaum apes form but won't scan
Study in contrasts
posted by cortex at 3:59 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems like they ought to
Have haiku signs in Tokyo
A serene frog smiles
posted by Renoroc at 3:59 PM on November 30, 2011


Ridiculous prose
Too many words for a sign
Waste of time, money
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:02 PM on November 30, 2011


Pretty, though!
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:04 PM on November 30, 2011


Haiku line, one idea.
next line contrasts new idea;
references a season.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


How many people
Will be killed while pondering
Confusing street signs?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:26 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


pedanticism
requires me to inform you
these are not haiku
posted by finite at 4:26 PM on November 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


They are a haiku
When the masses change the rules
Art is created.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 4:39 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's really not too many words for a sign. They're meant to be read by pedestrians or cyclists stopped at an intersection, not passing cars.

I have no idea if they'll make an impact, but they're an interesting idea and more attention grabbing than other signs because they're not what has been seen before.

I like the idea. We need more poetry in our everyday lives.
posted by hippybear at 4:39 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing like creative government action
to bring the armchair cost-benefit analysts
out of the wood work
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:42 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like them. I think they're pretty and I'm all for adding more art to our daily lives. HOWEVER, if you can't read or don't speak English, these signs are pretty much worthless.
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:43 PM on November 30, 2011


I lied. They do seem to have a couple in Spanish. So there's that. (Does haiku work in Spanish?)
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:51 PM on November 30, 2011


if you can't read or don't speak English, these signs are pretty much worthless.

Except for the ones which they're putting up which will be in Spanish.

And anyway -- look around you. Most signage in the US is in English. What's even more astounding: in France, they're nearly all in French, and in Germany... ach du lieber!
posted by hippybear at 4:51 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Does haiku work in Spanish?)

It's Japanese poetry. Does it work in English?
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:53 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


A LOT of signage doesn't rely on English, or the ability to read. That's why so many signs have pictures. (think of the little walking man picture for a walk sign.) Even the ones with words usually rely on colors/shapes to supplement their message (stop signs are red.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:58 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Leaves fall from the trees
Fog rises from the sidewalk
Watch your fucking step
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:58 PM on November 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


You are reading this
Instead of being alert
Watch out for that — oh
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:58 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


We see you looking
At that big building. Indef-
-inite detention
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:01 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


A curbside Tanka with seasonal motif:

Toronto's maples
Put me in mind of Kasuga
My soul longs to see
The crimson pillars again
I'm under a red Audi
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:04 PM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait...5-8-5-7-7...crap!

Toronto's maples
Remind me of Kasuga
My soul longs to see
The crimson pillars again
I'm under a red Audi
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:09 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


A LOT of signage doesn't rely on English, or the ability to read. That's why so many signs have pictures.

Did you even look at the NYT link?

Pictures are part of the equation.
posted by hippybear at 5:24 PM on November 30, 2011


Anyway, look at the list of where these are being installed.

They aren't a city-wide campaign to warn people about danger. They're an extension of art into the streets in the form of warning signs.
posted by hippybear at 5:29 PM on November 30, 2011


I screamed from my bike.
"That John Morse sold out!"
A car set me straight.

(title: Brokie Fixie)
posted by hanoixan at 5:34 PM on November 30, 2011


I don't think think the pictures on some of those signs are terribly informative without the words. (the one with the wave, for example.)

They aren't a city-wide campaign to warn people about danger. They're an extension of art into the streets in the form of warning signs.

This, however, makes sense and I'm ok with that.
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:35 PM on November 30, 2011


cortex: "1Haiku lines must breath."

Poet needs an "e". :D
posted by zarq at 5:41 PM on November 30, 2011


E spent on whiskey
Cannot scotch-guard poetry
Autumn tumblers full
posted by cortex at 5:46 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Overheard in New York
---------------------------------------
Those plums in the fridge I consum-ed
Refreshed me in weather most humid.
A midsummer treat--

RIDE YOUR BIKE IN THE STREET!
This sidewalk's for
Me; not for you, kid!
posted by The White Hat at 5:56 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


An interesting link
But no haiku springs to mind
My brain is tired
posted by Monkeymoo at 6:23 PM on November 30, 2011


Common sense

Requires you

To watch the road

Not read haiku

BURMA SHAVE
posted by louche mustachio at 7:25 PM on November 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


Construction ceases.
Signposts bare as the branches
We freeze our tits off
posted by louche mustachio at 7:33 PM on November 30, 2011


zarq: Poet needs an "e". :D

Mod powers mean that
No edit window needed
MWA HA HA HA HA
posted by quiet coyote at 7:35 PM on November 30, 2011


new york cops often
step off the curb at crosswalks,
leading; hence, "flat foot".
posted by eddydamascene at 7:36 PM on November 30, 2011


When snow becomes slush
Watch out for taxis passing
Icewater bath time.
posted by emjaybee at 7:42 PM on November 30, 2011


tight pants, no helmet
brakeless and fixed, freshly inked:
nine month half life, bus
posted by the painkiller at 7:49 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The sign clearly says
no honking, fine. You're honking.
Go back to Jersey.
posted by eddydamascene at 7:55 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tell the cabbie that
you're headed back to Brooklyn --
slams brakes, ejects you.
posted by eddydamascene at 8:04 PM on November 30, 2011


I ride a fixie
on the public streets - no brakes
I'm a giant tool
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:05 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


A silly art thing
like a gold beam of sunlight
makes me briefly glad
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:08 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bikes are wonderful
But drivers in SUVs
still try to kill me

OK, I'll stop now. I love haikus!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:11 PM on November 30, 2011


A walk through Times Square --
so many tourists, dying
from lack of progress.
posted by eddydamascene at 8:12 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot.
Sha-oooooo, bop bop bop.
posted by not_on_display at 11:26 PM on November 30, 2011


These haiku, Totally, Rad
Rainbow rolls: Inauthentic,
But our version rocks.
posted by NoraReed at 3:02 PM on December 1, 2011


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