moon maidenIt’s been awhile since I’ve had a contest. So I’m going to award two prizes, each of $25, redeemable at the online vendor of your choice, to those who submit the best Haikulogism and the best Hiakuthymeme to me (by e-mail or in the comments area below this post) by November 30th. I will pick three finalists in each category, and the final winner in each category will be chosen by someone else (to be announced shortly), since I don’t like making hard decisions.

A Haikulogism is a syllogism in haiku form. A syllogism must have a primary premise that is universal, stated as either a positive or a negative (e.g. everything that lives, moves), a secondary premise that can be either a universal or a particular statement (e.g. no mountain moves), and a conclusion that follows logically from the two premises (e.g. no mountain lives). I’m not stuffy about whether the premises are demonstrable or unarguable — controversial, debatable premises could actually be more interesting. And you’re free to state the secondary premise before the primary one if that suits the metre of the haiku form better.

The haiku form has many rules, some of which preclude entirely the possibility of a Haikulogism. So for purposes of this contest the only rules that must be followed are (a) it must be a three line 17 syllable composition, the middle line having 7 syllables and the remaining lines 5 each, and (b) it must have a ‘break’ or ‘turn’, a shift in perspective between the second and third lines. Natural imagery in the first two lines, traditionally found in haiku, would be wonderful but is not critical.

A Haikuthymeme is an enthymeme in haiku form. An enthymeme must have either a primary or secondary premise (e.g. Bush lied), and a conclusion (e.g. he cannot be trusted). It is left up to the reader to supply the missing premise (e.g. you can’t trust liars), from their own knowledge, so that the conclusion still follows logically.

So here is a terrible example of a Haikulogism:

world is a prison
our instinct is to be free
we want to get off

And here is a terrible example of a Haikuthymeme:

bush lied, people died
how much more can this world take?
turf him out next year

You will not find Haikulogism or Haikuthymeme in the dictionary or Google — I just made them up. But the idea of combining them is not actually new.

I’m sure you can do much better than my examples. Maximum of three entries per person, please. Brain hurt, yet?

Artwork above — ‘Moon Maiden’ by Sioux artist Ioyan Mani — you can buy her work here.

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  1. David Jones says:

    HaikuthymemeI yam what I yamSaid Popeye. Candied, candidly.I am yam ferever.

  2. David Jones says:

    OK. So I got the haikuthymeme thing wrong. Here’s it done as I think you want it:Because twas meant to be——————-No WMD

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