About, or: Much ado

An American sentence:

A poem about absolutely nothing should have very few words.

What’s an ‘American Sentence’?

Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didnโ€™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.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

28 thoughts on “About, or: Much ado”

    1. ๐Ÿ’— Ron ๐Ÿ’— – that is SO true! A comment that is both wise, sad, and funny!


      P.S. how have you been? Thanks for sending me the photos from your trip abroad!

  1. This reminded me of their quote
    โ€œI have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorterโ€
    Blaise Pascal

      1. Itโ€™s 5am in the afternoon in Israel and Washington.
        It is a funny quote. Especially after seeing some 1000 word responses to a yes/no question.

          1. Not sure how to post this, but here’s another one! (From the Christopher Robin film).

    1. well done ๐Ÿ˜‰

      this is my favorite part by far:

      โ€˜Tcan only be seen or felt
      By those with nothing;
      Only they know how it feels
      To be devoid of everything.

        1. Random question: is something wrong with your ‘space bar’? Sometimes your comments seem to be missing spaces, which makes them hard (for me) to read, which is why I’m asking.


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