Him who waits, or: Birthday bobbidi boo

An American sentence:

Waiting for my child’s birthday to give her this magic set ain’t easy.


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!

40 thoughts on “Him who waits, or: Birthday bobbidi boo”

  1. Interesting concept! The American Sentence sounds like a challenging form of poetry that requires the poet to be concise and precise with their words. The idea of having a turn or enlightenment within the 17 syllables is intriguing, as it adds another layer of depth to the form. It will be interesting to see how poets utilize this form and what kind of creative works come out of it. Thank you for sharing this information.

  2. the freedom in this is interesting, but I so love the original structure of this form. as an American, I’ve never heard of the American sentence.) always learning –

  3. So then why not created two ceremonies
    One for handing over the sword
    Then the fan and boom on her actual birthday.
    Put them together and what have you got?
    Bibbidi-bobbidi-booโ€ฆ

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