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. Reminds me of my daughters’ complaint of “It’s not fair!” To which I always replied that life isn’t fair. I think most of us never accept it though. (K)

  2. Amazing! Each stands alone. Each a perfect American sentence. Cover the given word “fair” and, most impressive, total exactly 44 words. Applause from my corner of the world!

  3. David,
    Why am I not surprised that it was Ginsberg that invented the “American sentence”? All three work beautifully as American proverbs here.

  4. How very clever, making 3 American sentences fit into a 44 word Quadrille. Kudos. I like Ginsberg’s creation, but the long(ish) structure is hard for me to fit into my regular rhythms.

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