Slushy, or: Smoothie

An American sentence:

Caked in uncommon, slushy snow, Jerusalem’s worth photographing.

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!

37 thoughts on “Slushy, or: Smoothie”

  1. A beautiful photo, David! It seems to me, though I’ve never been to Jerusalem, that it’s a photographer’s dream. The snow in your photo is “icing on the cake!” Sorry, David, I couldn’t resist the silly metaphor! Take care! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh wow! Snow!!! Although it’s not always so fun, when you have to get somewhere ๐Ÿ˜‚. It does look so beautiful though. Has your daughter been having fun in it? My girls LOVE the snow, but haven’t had any this winter season, so far.

  3. Oh, awesome! I learned something new about the great Ginsberg, and about short-form poetry, from this post. Iโ€™ll get to work and see if I canโ€™t pull together something nice to share with you ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. โค Pauli โค ~ Ginsberg was a great. I write a lot of American Sentences – the form works for me… If you pen one, please share it with me – just drop the URL here somewhere.

      Much love,

      1. 1954-1966 -Yes, it was quite usual for there to be deep snow and there was no school bus, we lived 5 miles outside of coventry in what they called a Green Belt which was farmland and dairy and beef cattle. down a winding country road. If you didn’t know you would think it was the middle of nowhere.

          1. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜– lol – I was talking about stories from your childhood to tell your daughter ๐Ÿ™‚ what happened to your wires? ๐Ÿ™‚

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