An American sentence
Dear Allen, seventeen syllables don’t suffice to do you justice.
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.
- Composed in one line;
- Syllabic, 17 syllables;
- Condensed, written with no unnecessary words or articles;
- Complete sentence or sentences;
- Includes a turn or enlightenment.
20 thoughts on “Just(ice), or: Allen Ginsberg, Z”L”
not doing you justice
are we Allan G –
back to haiku for more
Barbara, I accept you just the way you are. Keep at it! -Allen
Although I often write poems loosely following the haiku and tanka forms, I have found that multi-syllabic words create challenges. Not sure the “American Sentence” does it for me, but it would be helpful in solving that particular problem. Thank you for sharing this, David!
💜 Cheryl 💜 – I’ve become a huge fan of these 17 syllable sentences! They often suit my thoughts perfectly…
I learned something new (and worth learning) today. Thanks for this.
❤ Buddy ❤ – my pleasure; I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Very interesting. I didn’t know about this. I like your sentence. What does the Z”L mean?
❤ Thanks, Jean Marie ❤
Z"L is the English version of a Jewish honorific for the dead (which is actually in Hebrew). The English translation is:
Thanks for sharing this. Had no idea. 🙂
💙 Terveen 💙 – he was a true poetry icon, I’d say!
Shavuah Tov, David! I hope you are enjoying Sukkot.
I do agree with Z”L after his name.
❤ Moadim l’Simcha, Dolly ❤
Indeed not. (K)
😘 Kerfe 😘
is that a photo of the very man?
An American Sentence as a paean! Woot!
well, it’s kinda a cop-out as far as paeans go 😉