March 02, 2007

The Disparate Impact on the Japanese of Balkin's Poetic Proposal

by PG

Prof. Balkin, inspired by Jim Gibbons, says,

The idea is to summarize your latest academic work, whether a paper or Ph.D thesis, in the famous five syllable, seven syllable, five syllable form. [...] I propose that every scholar-- and certainly anyone who sends a work to an academic journal or posts a new piece on SSRN-- should always provide three things: (1) the academic haiku, followed by (2) the 300 word abstract, followed by (3) the actual work itself, in that order. This will let readers know how far they need to read before they inevitably become distracted by some other glistening bauble in our Information age.
Unfortunately, haiku purists aware of the kigo will have a major handicap in attempted to fulfill Balkin's ambition. Consider his summary of his recent paper:
Original meaning,
The Living Constitution,
Are one and the same.

Abortion bans are
Compulsory motherhood,
Class legislation.

-- Jack M. Balkin, Abortion and Original Meaning

One might at a stretch call "motherhood" the reference to the natural world required for a haiku, just as a reference to "tax" could be considered mention of a season, but the haiku for Prof. Levinson's last book fails even this forgiving standard:
Our Constitution
Is completely screwed up; more
Democracy please!

March 2, 2007 09:15 PM | TrackBack
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