Babilu, or: Gate of God

An American sentence

Eight in a Jerusalem sukkah* read poems in different tongues.


*A sukkah (plural: sukkot) is a festival booth that Jews traditionally erect for the autumn Festival of Sukkot, which is also known as the Festival of Booths and by other names.

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.

8 thoughts on “Babilu, or: Gate of God”

    1. nope – not mine – just a free photo I found online!

      the halakha (Jewish religious law) mandates that the sukkah be rebuilt every year. More precisely – the frame can remain standing, but the cover must be put on anew annually because the whole concept of the booth is to be “temporary”.

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