- Kenning haiku are so named because they are one of the most succinct types of Kennexions GameComposition?.
- Each kenning haiku must consist of five sections:
- Term 1
- Term 2
- Term 3
- The Introduction section briefly states which word is the basis for the kenning haiku, and any other material the composer deems relevant. Here is an example of a simple Introduction:
- This kenning haiku explores the meaning of the word sea. It will use only medieval Norse kennings for its quotations.
- Each Term section must consist of the following subsections:
- Quotation: quotes a cultural artifact (such as a poem, but potentially any art form, such as painting, film, or music) from which the kenning in this section is drawn.
- Equation: states the kenning analogy derived from the Quotation and the four kennings derived from the analogy.
- Explication: comments on the Quotation and the Equation, clarifying where necessary, and drawing attention to their subtler aspects.
- Visualisation: describes a mnemonic image for the kenning, meant for prolonged contemplation, of the sort used in a Mentat:MemoryPalace. A good mnemonic image should incoporate the principles of Mentat:SmashinScope.
- Here is an example of a simple Term section:
- Term 1: sea
- Now for sea-steeds' [ships'] trunks [warriors] there is eagles' flight over land in store [i.e., the birds of prey are gathering, a battle is taking place].
- --Havard the halt, quoted in Skaldskaparmal by Snorri Sturluson, translated in Edda by Anthony Faulkes, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc, 1996
---- :: -----
ship = sea-steed
sea = ship-road
steed = road-ship
road = steed-sea
- This is a classical Norse kenning, and one of the easiest to understand, because it is so concrete. In their poetry, the ancient Norse called their ships "sea-steeds", among many other names, much as the ancient Greeks referred to the ocean itself by the Homeric epithet "the wine-dark sea". It follows by way of analogy that if a ship is a sea-steed, then the sea is a ship-road. Two other kennings also follow ("steed = road-ship" and "road = steed-sea").
- Important: A proper kenning analogy will always give four kennings. The rule to create a kenning is "across, then diagonal". For example, moving from "sea" across to "ship" and then diagonally to "road" yields "sea = ship-road". In this way, you can create new kennings from old ones, or even from regular metaphors in world culture, if you can fill in the missing terms, as we did here by filling in the term "road".
- To visualise the sea as a ship road, imagine a moonlit midnight on the ocean. A modern steel battleship is crossing the Atlantic at high speed. Ahead of it, on the surface of the sea, appears the watery image of an asphalt road. The dots in the dotted line on the road speed toward the ship and vanish underneath it as the ship cuts into the road. Behind the ship, there is only its wake. The ship is chewing up the miles.
- There are three Term sections in a kenning haiku. The first Term section expands the initial word into a two-term kenning, and the remaining two Term sections expand each of the terms in that kenning into a two-term kenning. The fully-expanded result is a four-term kenning.
- The Conclusion section makes the Quotation subsection optional but mandates the others. In the Conclusion, the Equation fully expands the kenning, the Explication summarises it, and the Visualisation provides a mnemonic image for the entire piece.
- Multimedia presentations may be included as part of the Quotations, but are not necessary. Similarly, it is not necessary to provide graphics for the Visualisations. Hyperlinks to material (textual, graphical, or otherwise) available on the Web are encouraged, however.
For examples of valid kenning haiku, see the following pages:
As of Summer 2004, there is currently a KenningHaikuCompetition in progress.