Servants, or: Masters

An American sentence:

With true poets, it’s hard to know whether words are servants or masters.


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!

27 thoughts on “Servants, or: Masters”

  1. I am merely a servant in the house of words,themselves servants to their masters, true poets. Indeed, it has been a pleasure reading your poems, and I must say I’ve learnt a lot! (If I may, reading from your blog inspired me to check out the world of freeverse ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  2. Fabulous. This is very interesting and informative as well. It’s a great initiative on your part. Congratulations.

  3. Decisions decisions
    Or is it choices choices
    Which cloak, servant or master should i wear for this one…

    Or is it mainly clear?

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