Saturday, January 30, 2010

Announcing the Gill O’Teen 2 Yo (2010 A.D.) Haiku Contest

Both of you who actually pay attention to what I post are aware that in the past I have attempted to have two fun contests.

The first simply asked contestants to submit their favorite Obama lie. I received exactly two entries and they each simply repeated the very lie I had cited as an example when announcing that contest, so I did not declare a winner.

Then I thought that to celebrate Obama’s lie that those who make less than $250,000 a year will not see their taxes increase even one thin dime, contestants were asked to compose a rhymed four line poem in the manner of George Harrison’s 1966 Rock Classic "Taxman". I received entries from one person. Accordingly that person was declared the Gill O’Teen Poet of the Year 2 Yo (2010 A.D.) and he was awarded a spiffy certificate.

A few weeks ago he sent me the following email:

"Gill, You might consider promoting a Haiku competition. They are very easy to do as they require only the 5-7-5 format. I've seen them mushroom on other discussion lists where rhyming verse did not. I would gladly sit this one out and watch what comes in."

Well why not, might be fun!

The rules for this contest are as follows:
1) Contest entries must be date stamped before February 21, 2 Yo (2010 A.D.).
2) All entries must be sent to my gmail account
3) Each entry must follow the basic haiku format of three (3) unrhymed lines. The first and third lines must contain exactly five (5) syllables. The middle line must contain exactly seven (7) syllables. Any entry containing obscenities or pornography will be disqualified. I will be the sole judge of this.
4) In the event that I and a contestant disagree as to exactly how many syllables a word might have, a standard dictionary or Google will be consulted. If that fails, I will ask the submitter for an explanation. If the dispute is not resolved by the contest deadline as determined by the email date stamp on the explanation, the entry will be disqualified.
5) I will compile a list of all the entries received which adhere to rule 3, and forward them to the Contest Judge as soon as practical. The identity of the composer of any entered verse will not be disclosed to the Judge. Each verse will be assigned a number based on the order received.
6) The Contest Judge alone will determine the winner using whatever guidelines he chooses. His decision will be final and may not be challenged by anyone.
7) The Winner will receive a certificate suitable for framing designating him or her "The Gill O’Teen Haiku Champion of 2 Yo (2010 A.D.)
8) The Contest Judge will be the Gill O’Teen Poet of the Year for 2 Yo (2010 A.D.).
9) His actual identity is known to participants in the earlier contest, but will only be revealed to others who send me a request. This request will be forwarded to him and only he has the right to divulge his name. For the purpose of this contest he will only be referred to as the Gill O’Teen Poet of the Year for 2 Yo (2010 A.D.).
10) Neither Gill O’Teen nor the Gill O’Teen Poet of the Year for 2 Yo (2010 A.D.) are eligible to win this competition. Everyone else who enters before the deadline is eligible.
11) The email address of all contestants will not be knowingly disclosed by Gill O’Teen to anyone for any reason.
12) Contestants will, however, be identified by their email user i.d. unless I am instructed to use an alias for said contestant. For example, ‘’ will be known as ‘race5'. If a second ‘race5' enters, that i.d. will be ‘race5(02)’ etc.
13) By entering any haiku in this contest, the contestant grants Gill O’Teen the right to use said haiku in any manner he deems fit except that he may not use any but his own compositions in any commercial enterprise without the signed permission of its author.

Sample Haiku I wrote (if I can do it, anyone can do it!)

I’d gladly concede
His first term the best ever
If he’d resign now.

Gill O'Teen


watchbird1 said...

As do most people, you are making the egregious assumption that haiku consists merely of 17 syllables arranged in the right order. Prose, no matter how banal, thus under your ham-handed sway apparently qualifies as haiku if it meets the proper syllabic constraint.

What you have given as an example lacks metaphor, finesse, astute observation of nature, or any artistic expression at all. You are right: anyone can do THIS. But don't delude yourself; it is not haiku.

Gill O'Teen said...

watchbird1, if you are so much more clever than I in the haiku department, put up or shut up. By the way, you would not be competing against me. I'm not eligible to win. The rules just might be simple to promote participation by more folks. If only quality work were permitted, and I'm not the judge, then only you would be skilled enough to enter. Taking the prize here should be a lock for a writer as talented as you obviously think you are.

Anonymous said...

I don't know a haihu from a watsu but it looks like fun.

watchbird1 said...

Only if I spoke Japanese might I, possibly, if I were fortunate and worked very diligently and some fair muse deigned, craft a haiku in response to your challenge. Contrary to popular delusion, there IS no English haiku, nor can there ever be. The syllabic constraints, the intricate and formal elegance of a true haiku depend upon felicitous juxtaposition of ideograms and their spoken equivalents in a dance as measured as a minuet, as fervent as a prayer.

Herewith a modest proposal: enjoin your compatriots to set five-seven-five English syllables in three paltry rows that still make sense of some sort. And call it WhyKu.

That might work.

Here, then, a humble WhyKu in honor of recent political events.

azure swirls collide
perturbations thunder on
raven’s swift ascent

Gill O'Teen said...

All the contest entries are now in the hands of The Judge. As soon as he tells me the results, I'll post them here. Unless he used another ID, watchbird1 did not enter. All entries must actually be sent to me in order to be eligible.


Gill O'Teen said...

The 2010 Haiku contest is now history.

The Judge wrote me the evening of the 23rd that "Entries have been judged based on the following criteria:
Proper 5-7-5 format. (No points - but if it fails it's out.)
Clarity: It must be easily understood. Points: 1 for best, 21 for "least best." (I won't say worst. They were all good.)
Message: The message must be pertinent to the issues we face, or point out the idiocy on display by the leftists. (Points: 1 to 21 as above.)
Use of words: Looked for insightful or clever word use that drives home a point. (Points: 1 to 21 as above.)

In each category, the score will be the rank. If a Haiku wins a category, its score will be 1 for that category. The sum of the three category scores will be the total for each Haiku, with the lowest total winning the contest. Obviously, the best possible score is a 3.

And the winner, with a low total of 6 points, is: HC-022-013 composed by pmedi which was received 2/1/2 Yo.

Promised hope and change
credulous folks voted yes
we got hoax and chains

And a last haiku from the judge:

Haiku contest calls
Judging them throughout the night
Need another drink

A PDF of all the entries is attached is available upon request to

The contest judge was not given the identity of each composer.

Thanks to all who participated, and especially thanks to The Contest Judge. He came up with a firm relatively objective method of determining the winner and put a lot of time and work into this.

For that other drink, I suggested he look into Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey which won the 2009 IWSC Worldwide Whiskey of the Year Brown-Forman Trophy by being selected as the Best Whiskey in the World. But is it better than any whisky? Extensive personal research is definitely called for. I’m just worried that under kommiecare and recognizing the medicinal benefits of a tasty shot, and shots are a medical procedure, I will have to register my ABV. This fits with my other blog post "Bourbon Thoughts".

Gill O'Teen
March 25, 2 Yo