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.