Ready, or: Here she comes

An American sentence:

Growing in self-confidence, a child visits her friend unchaperoned.

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!

28 thoughts on “Ready, or: Here she comes”

  1. I suppose the way we were growing up was very different from modern American play dates and chaperoning children. When are they expected to become independent? At what age and under which circumstances?

    1. I’m not sure. But it seems that by second grade a lot of kids are pretty independent here. They go to school, to the playground, to the store… they take buses…

      1. I know they do; I have nieces and nephews in Israel (great-nieces and great-nephews by now), but friends of ours who just made Aliah before Pesach, and whose grandchildren (all but one) were born in Israel, where their only daughter lives, had been horrified when they saw it first. They volunteered to accompany kids everywhere. Then kids were horrified – it’s embarrassing in front of their friends.

  2. I was going to play with friends unchaperoned in Kindergarten! Times change and danger lurks everywhere… Now it is a rite of passage to go to a friend’s house without a chaperone!
    p.s. from the title I had a little unpleasant flashback to playing Red Rover!

  3. It’s quite weird, me reading your American Sentence, it feels so secure and safe, so the picture also says.

    So very different in many places around the world, their lives, boys too, are at such risk. My country is notorious for the disappearance of little girls…let me pause there…
    Just yesterday we got such a fright when we were told of a little girl we know who couldn’t be found…
    Two of them, she and her friend, they wondered off, thank goodness they were located.
    The frenzy and anxiety is unbearable.

    We should cherish safe and secure places around the world where children, boys and girls, young women and young men, also adults can play and go about there business knowing there areas are relatively safe, enjoying life, the day without a care in the world.
    This is a picture of heavenly.

    A great American sentence.

      1. Sorry for my language, but it is such a mind-fuck, here children by the sheer nature of their circumstances are literally forced to be independent at a very young age. They are left unattended and usually come home to an empty because parents are working or simply not there. It is really an awful way to gain independence because the environments they grow up in is so violently unsafe. By ten years old, many of them are not children anymore, they’ve seen and done things which harm them, and leave behind a tired childhood. They travel on taxis, and sometimes they never return home, which is where I was telling you how quickly they disappear.
        Life is so different there where you are, these environs are rare in large parts of our world and in most of my country. We have not reached that stage of governance where children can live relatively or completely free for that matter. We have such a long way to go.

          1. I remember visiting my Israeli cousins as a child who was growing up in the USA, back in the eighties… I was always struck by how independent and free they and their Israeli friends were, compared to me & the world that I was growing up in back in the USA.

          2. Some regions in the world have achieved this standard for their children.
            The care invested into this safe way of living is remarkable.
            I don’t what is the answer to turn a violent country like mine, into a peace loving and compassionate people.

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