You may have noticed that the Star Tribune redesign has cut the length of Metro section columns by a little over 40 percent, from ~850 words to ~500. As a result, it now takes the average newspaper consumer only 58 percent as long to ingest the latest offerings from Nick Coleman, Doug Grow, or Katherine Kersten.
But speed-readers' gain is the columnists' loss--it isn't easy to say anything coherent and well-formed in the space of 500 words; there is barely room to set a scene or frame an idea before it's time to wrap it up. Grow and Coleman show signs of struggling with their freshly downsized quarters.
Not Kersten, however. The shrinkage seems to have wrought no changes at all in her prose. This set the Kersten Studies scholars around here to thinking: Maybe her column could be usefully compressed even further for the convenience of readers. What follows is a sampling of five previous Kersten columns rendered as haiku verse.
Your mission is to do likewise with today's Kersten column on the Vikings booty cruise. The rules for writing haiku (in case, like me, you were unfamiliar with the form) are simple: three lines of 17 syllables total, divvied up so that 5 syllables appear in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. The author of the verse we like best will receive a package including a CP t-shirt and some of the movie promo swag we've got around the office.
The Rotarians God I miss them, are they gone along with my youth?
I hate feminists A woman's place is telling young women their place
"Gratitude, not anger, comes from Astrodome," 9/14
So poor and so black It's not my fault your life sucks Please be more grateful
"Roots of gang violence feed off '60s," 7/18
Back in the sixties I kept my legs together and my eyes on God
"Recruits are undaunted by danger, Mom and Dad," 7/14
You are so selfish All you parents of soldiers Death builds character
Okay, your turn--submit your entries in the Comments field below.