Families, or: Efforts

An American sentence:

Many families are united by the efforts of one member.


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.

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 “Families, or: Efforts”

  1. Thanks for enlightening me on this poetry form. I had not heard of it before! Here’s my first try at one:

    My poems are an Ebenezer to remind me of the Divine.

      1. I would like to be a paid “social butterfly” to get parties started!
        I enjoy bringing new neighbors into the circle… keeps us social and safer!

  2. I know that pressure to be the uniting force. I also know that there are others who when the time comes will be willing to step up to take my place…

  3. Henry Wallace arrived in Chicago May of fifty-one.
    โ€ฆ
    My gosh David, I think youโ€™ve really discovered something important!
    A seventeen syllable sentence is truly perfect in its pace.

  4. Such a burden, what a grateful relief.
    Sometimes families need a bailout, it rings out for decades to come.

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