Sympathy, or: Empathy


Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.

Alan Alda (b. 1936)

An American sentence:

Sincere curiosity led me to listen, which rather changed me.

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.

34 thoughts on “Sympathy, or: Empathy”

  1. So much to say here…perhaps a musing of my own in the future. Because I don’t have enough writing itself in my head. *sigh*
    It’s a way of looking at “listening” that hadn’t occurred to me… but is oh-so-true.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s