Unavoidable, or: Premonition

An American sentence

Hauling heavy loads in Jerusalem’s heat before fasting? Mistake.

What’s an ‘American Sentence’?

Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didnโ€™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.

25 thoughts on “Unavoidable, or: Premonition”

  1. Having a strenuous activity is never a good idea in the heat… and fasting after must make it all the more difficult! Hope you are well hydrated!

  2. I’ve been in Israel for Tisha b’Av before, and yeah, it’s not ideal weather for a 25 hour fast. I suppose the tables turn for Sukkot. I’ve not spent Sukkot in Israel before, but I imagine the weather is pretty lovely for dining al fresco!

  3. “Hauling heavy loads” on a camel’s back through eye of a needle: food for fasts
    A seventeen-course repast is a poor man’s fast at a holy feast
    Yeah, Ginsberg’s American sentence haiku sure don’t hide the madness.
    Thank you for leading me here. I appreciate your site’s perspective.

  4. I am not sure I get this – maybe it’s because I am not a native in two ways; this is how I can make sense of it:
    hot in Jerusalem
    I haul a big load –

    fasting not yet
    sick already:
    big schlepp in the heat

    big schlepp before Sabbath
    I collapse
    o Jerusalem

    does any/either make sense and/or convey what you were trying to, David? thanks

    1. well – wearing myself out before a 25 hour fast day is not a good idea (from past experience) but there are things that I HAVE to schlep today because there’s no other day when I can do it – so I have to carry heavy groceries (and other things) outside in the heat on the day before the fast, which is unfortunate for me, but unavoidable, sadly!

      1. is the problem that you have to pre-shop? can’t be because you fast? is the problem that you eat more before you fast and are therefore sluggish? or are you just getting too hungry from big schlepp?(But you still have some time to eat?)

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