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Haiku FAIL

Café Hayek has a post where commenters are asked to compose “Hayeku”:

A haiku is a three line poem. The first line has five syllables. The second line has seven. The third line has five.

A hayeku (HT: Ike Pigott for the name and the encouragement) is a haiku from an Hayekian perspective. Here’s one to get you started:

Why do we pretend

That “mandatory” spending

Is mandatory?

The idea (and the pun) tickles me. But people seem to think that any seventeen-syllable sentence qualifies as poetry if broken into three proper chunks. Nope. Like the example offered, it’s just a choppy sentence, not a haiku.

A Minneapolis cable-access hit show, Drinking With Ian, has a regular character called “Haiku Jim” who makes the same mistake every week.

I recognize both of these examples are not claiming any literary prowess. I’m not calling FAIL on the attempted poetry, but on the basic misunderstanding of a classic form of Japanese art.

FAIL example:

/ Any meathead can /
/ write seventeen syllables /
/ but it an’t haiku /

Less FAIL example:

/ grammar school linguist /
/ mistakes the essence of art /
/ proud for no reason /

Non-FAIL example (by Richard Wright):

/ Whitecaps on the bay /
/ A broken signboard banging /
/ In the April wind /