How much, or: Yourself

An American sentence:

How much of yourself have you given up to belong? Was it worth it?

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!

33 thoughts on “How much, or: Yourself”

  1. “Was it worth it?” Whoa. This question settles in, sits down for a while, and begs to be answered. I love this, David!

  2. Nice question. Given up. Interesting. I have rarely felt like I belonged. But I can’t think of much I have “given up” to attempt it… except maybe hair on my legs. As a child my mum had no interest in buying things to help us fit in. She wouldn’t be bullied by the line “but everyone else…”. And as much as I hated it at the time, I think the message must have filtered through. I am not very conformist. Not very radical either, to be sure.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s