Here's the scoop on getting an ice cream job: Apply in haiku

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Are you a poet / Who enjoys scooping ice cream? / Izzy's has your job

It just so happens that National Poetry Month falls during the time of year when ice cream parlors are ramping up their seasonal hiring. MPR News reports one Twin Cities chain has decided to meld the two and will expand its scooping team by taking on poets.

Izzy's Ice Cream, which has shops in St. Paul and Minneapolis, is throwing a haiku hiring party on Friday. The company plans to hire 25 employees based partly on the applicants' poetry. Izzy's says it wanted to create a hiring event that would set it apart from the competition and attract a special kind of worker. The company offered a haiku of its own to get things rolling:

A spoon raises high
Cold greets lips, flavor behind
Inhale, taste, exhale.

While it's called a haiku hiring party, the rules for the event say submissions can be other short poems or even a visual collage or sound or music clip.

National Poetry Month was started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, which says it wanted to widen the attention of individuals and the media to the art of poetry.

There are many types of poetry out there but in recent years – especially since the advent of Twitter – it's haiku that has taken on a higher profile.

There are Twitter feeds that use haiku to keep you up to date on the activities of the U.S. Supreme Court.


Many news outlets, including some as venerable as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times have a haiku habit (I give you headlines / In glorious haiku form. / You're welcome, Twitter).

Among Minnesota journalists, the Pioneer Press' Christopher Snowbeck is an old hand at haiku tweets, using them to provide the latest on health care hearings and distribute his news stories.

Alas, we have strayed / From the ice cream parlor jobs / But haiku does that

What is it that gives the ancient Japanese form its modern-day appeal? In an essay for National Public Radio a few years ago, Geoffrey Nunberg pointed out that haiku is so easy we're all tempted to give it a whirl:

You don't have to worry about rhyme or alliteration or meter. You can put the stresses and breaks anywhere, as long as the syllable count comes in on target. First you tick off five, then seven, and then five more — Hey, there goes one now!

For an Izzy's job, / Get your poetry in soon / The deadline's Friday.

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