Time, or: Space

An American Sentence in 12 words

Inspired by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel z”l (1907 – 1972)

The Sabbath is a #palace constructed in time, rather than in space.

The prompt: #palace (#storyin12)

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.

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 “Time, or: Space”

  1. Beautiful insight into time/space. i am equally intrigued by the reference to palace, suggesting the beautiful and wondrous architecture of the human and spiritual interaction found at the Sabbath.

      1. I discovered today, in talking about this book with the family, that my daughter-in-law attended classes at Dartmouth taught by Heschel’s daughter, Susan.

  2. The metaphor of Sabbath as a #palace constructed in time, spaceless.
    Spaceless is timeless, and vice versa; when is where, this Sabbath #palace.
    On Sabbath, does mind rest spacetime in peace, constructing #palace of thought?
    “I want to know God’s thoughts … the rest are details.” Albert Einstein

      1. Very kind, David, 🙂 The beauty in the eye of this beholder, for which I’m grateful this Sabbath, is the level of thought behind your post’s title question and 12-word american sentence, and reference to Rabbi Heschel, whom no doubt was privy to the thoughts Einstein famously said he wanted to know, everything else, like space and time, being mere details. Anyway, such thoughts my palace construct in a manner that may be dismantled and reassembled en route. 🙂

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