Focus, Shivers, or: Bitter

Three American sentences in 10 words

I. #focus

Whenever I begin counting syllables, I tend to lose #focus.

II. #shivers

She #shivers despite the sunlight, as his poetry caresses her.

III. #bitter

#Bitter, like all flavors, reflects feelings, not just food preferences.


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.

#PenYourTen and #10WordJournal

The above American Sentences were first written for three separate Twitter prompts. The prompt words were: ‘Focus’, ‘Shivers’, and ‘Bitter’. These prompts require a response of exactly 10 words.


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!

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