Many, or: Not one

An American sentence

Religious people usually keep their ancestors’ traditions.

What’s an ‘American Sentence’?

Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didn’t work as well in English. Ginsberg decided to remove the line structure of the haiku, maintaining the requirement of 17 syllables total. He felt that removing the line count freed the American Sentence up for the idiosyncrasies of English phonemes.

The requirements:

  1. Composed in one line;
  2. Syllabic, 17 syllables;
  3. Condensed, written with no unnecessary words or articles;
  4. Complete sentence or sentences;
  5. Includes a turn or enlightenment.

16 thoughts on “Many, or: Not one”

  1. I read this one and the word that jumped out at me was “usually” – it is a very unstable word but in this situation highlights a possible different outcome….

      1. I should probably clarify that I don’t have “a problem” with the American sentence form, or your example. I just don’t agree that Haiku doesn’t work in English. 🙂

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