Free advice, or: Leave a tip


Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.

Ezra Taft Benson (1899 – 1994)

An American sentence:

Self-proclaimed experts opine; meanwhile, I hardly understand myself.

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.

31 thoughts on “Free advice, or: Leave a tip”

  1. Hrrm. Leaves me feeling inferior for correcting Cray when she incorrectly attributed her errors to me.
    I shall try to keep this mantra in mind!

      1. 🙂 Andrew Blair, sounds to me like you have given yourself one 🙂 I am equally ignorant on literary or any other kind of gymnastics. A koan describes the paradox of the world in one sentence. The Buddhists have a whole canon of it 😀 – here I aim to get them from the pedestal. Thanks for asking and have a good day.

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