Foreseen, or: Farsighted

An American sentence:

Squinting, a slender girl stops searching the murky sea for her glasses.

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!

18 thoughts on “Foreseen, or: Farsighted”

  1. What a terrible way to lose your glasses! What a thought-provoking poem, David! Maybe she should have her glasses on a strap when she goes swimming if she can’t safely swim without them. Or maybe the meaning is more philosophical than practical. I will have to think about that. 🙂 Hope you are doing well! ❤

  2. Always interested and I will try to keep an open mind. Probably the best way to do that is by having a go at each one myself. I certainly admire your capacity for new ways and means.

    1. you’ll have to take that up with him, Sean…

      personally, I really dig the American Sentence; but, obviously, as with all forms, it’s a matter of personal taste 🙂

      much love,

    2. also, I would add that Ginsburg was hardly the only one to muck around with the haiku – there have been many poetic forms derived from it throughout the years – if you’re curious, I can give you a few other examples!

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