Today’s American Sentence

Yellow sun . . . earth hurries upon spring long before winter’s time expires.


The Ginsberg-style “American sentence” above was originally conceived (and written incorrectly) in response to David’s introduction to the Ginsberg form of minima poetry this week at The Skeptic’s Kaddish . I was feeling before counting, and fell right into the sentiment of David’s own observation! Thus the need for self correction, that I wake tomorrow better prepared.

Alas, there is a 17-syllable goal in Ginsberg’s version of simplicity in observation and description—his nod to haiku.

I enjoyed this as an exercise. I think it’s a good practice that readies the mind for an open writing session where ideas aren’t already on the table.

If I were to take up creating my own American sentence poetry, I think I’d come back to this post in order to create a sort of American sentence diary. Not that this hasn’t been done, of course, but in the end I’d be interested in seeing the progression of such observations over a year’s time.

Still, though, the haiku poetry style continues and has been appreciated by many, not least of which Alan Ginsberg. If you haven’t seen Ginsberg haiku, visit Poem Hunter for a few samples—apparently written in the days before he developed his alternative American sentence.

I’m curious. If you’ve practiced in both styles of poetry mentioned here, which do you tend to prefer?

Until next time, good writing!

Spring Flower and Snow, by George Hodan

3 thoughts on “Today’s American Sentence”

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