Haiku road signs are popping up—we found one in Birmingham

Roadside haiku in Birmingham, AL
A beautiful haiku as you walk through Birmingham. Photo via Roadside Senryu

If you’re in the mood for poetry, you might think of opening your favorite poetry book or checking out a poet’s Instagram… but have you thought about looking at a road sign? A new project is bringing poetry to the streets across America. Get a look at the first haiku road sign in Birmingham.

This project is bringing poetry to towns across America.

Haiku road signs have been popping up in different states, thanks to a project called Roadside Senryū. The artist is creating these signs to add hope to anyone who passes by, including Birmingham citizens.

“Senryū” is a form of Japanese poetry with the same format as a traditional haiku (five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables for those of you who forgot your English lessons). However, senryū are usually about human experiences instead of nature.

The sign in Birmingham has a poem that will make you pause and think:

“I can come up with / Reasons it could never work / They are all empty

Roadside Senryū

The artist began the project this summer with hopes of displaying at least 23 signs throughout the United States. As of right now, the artist has created 12 in cities like Memphis, Tennessee and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The project is on hold, but not over.

With each new sign, the artist hopes to inspire people to reflect, especially in the midst of the confusion of this year.

Keep up with the project on the artist’s Instagram, and be sure to check out the on-the-field recording for ambient sounds of Birmingham.

Where is the haiku road sign in Birmingham?

If you want to see the haiku road sign for yourself, head to Highway Eleven. The sign is located on 42nd Street at 1st Avenue North.

There’s a parking lot right behind the sign, so be sure to pull over for any photos. Just don’t be surprised if you run into others getting a look at it like I did!

Whether you come across the road sign on your way to work or you make the trip just to see it, you’ll be sure to leave inspired. This sign is a perfect example of magic in the Magic City.

Have you seen this poetry road sign? Tag us on social @bhamnow!