Get busy living, or: Get busy dying

A Quadrille

In the form of 3 American sentences:

In this world, fair does not enter into it. Make do with what you have.

Go out and take action. That is the only way to get by in life.

People won’t have time for you if you’re one to always whine and complain.

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.

d’Verse Quadrille #140:

‘Let’s Go To The Fair!’

The above three American Sentences are my take on d’Verse’s Quadrille challenge #140.

The Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This week’s challenge was to use the word “fair” in a Quadrille.

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!

62 thoughts on “Get busy living, or: Get busy dying”

    1. you have to look at it directly on my blog, rather than in the WordPress reader – it’s a link to a YouTube video. For some reason, it doesn’t appear in the reader.

    1. Yep. It’s harsh, for sure. I even tagged this post with the word ‘harsh’. But the compassion, as I see it, is in that if one accepts this premise as true, it’s compassionate to avoid stringing others along to believe otherwise and lead miserable lives.


      1. Yes, that’s true as well. False promises are all part of the deal though, aren’t they? Work hard and you’ll make lots of money, God helps those who help themselves?

          1. It’s the definition of success that’s slippery. And if in striving you have to be ruthless and crush those not so ruthless, is that success? I ask from the point of view of someone who never strived, never rose in the ranks and has become what the successful would call a loser. I’m at the bottom of the heap, but I’m better-placed than many to see the tiny things creeping in the grass 🙂

          2. I would recommend against losing one’s humanity 😅

            Also, each should decide for him/herself. If one is happy and not complaining, good for them. I’m not much of a striver either, but I don’t complain, and I think that’s a good way to be.

          3. Yes, nobody likes a complainer. Especially if they’re complaining about something it’s in their power to change.

            I’m afraid I just don’t like those hardbitten types who pat themselves on the back for having ‘made it’ when it’s been at the cost of exploiting others. They have certainly lost any humanity they ever had.

  1. People won’t have time for you if you’re one to always whine and complain.

    How true! No way can one accept those whose whines reflect blame unto others! It is defensive in nature. Great rendition of American Sentence, David


  2. You can’t beat a bit of “Shawshank Redemption” David, one of the most iconic lines in movie history! 🎥😁👏

  3. I completely agree! The world ain’t fair,nature ain’t fair,and life ain’t fair either.You’ll just have to learn to live the way you can,instead of fighting that. Nice quadrille 🙂

  4. I find math difficult at times but as a pro at simple arithmetic, 17 x 3 = 51 not 44… I guess it is poetic license? Still the message is perfect – action is better than inaction, kindness better than complaint!

    1. As David describes, the quadrille is a poetic form of 44 words, whilst the American Sentence comes on 17 syllables. His masterful blend of these styles in pursuit of the d’verse prompt is applauded.

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