Insight, or: Brevity

An American sentence:

Our deepest insights are best expressed with brevity. Truths need few words.

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.


This American Sentence was written in response to:

  1. Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC): ‘insight’
  2. Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #265

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!

22 thoughts on “Insight, or: Brevity”

  1. You completed this challenge with aplomb, David!
    And thanks for the Ginsberg lesson – I love reading that stuff.

  2. Well, David. You nailed insight with great brevity, or was it the other way round? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also interesting stuff about Ginsberg and the Americanized haiku. Well done.

  3. Ha! I knew you’d return to the American Sentence sooner or later! This one is masterful! You managed the brevity and insight with ease – bravo!

  4. I trust all truth to be self-evident if one just remains alert and willing to engage their brain as opposed being so ready/willing/able to swallow nonsensical bilge.

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s