What Exactly Is An American Sentence?

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We asked you, our wonderful audience, for your versions of the 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 and create poems which only had one requirement: 17 syllables total. These syllables could be arranged in as many or as few sentences as possible, but they did not have to adhere to any sort of line count, freeing the poem up for the idiosyncrasies of English phonemes. We’ve compiled 15 of our favorite American Sentences and haikus from you!

Don’t worry, they all have enough syllables, we checked!


Your-Sentence

15. New poem for a new year!

AS1

14. Spring is just around the corner…

AS2

13. Do pop-up ads count?

AS3

12. A love poem to poetry!

AS4

11. Very literal. LOVE IT!

AS5

10. A very productive American Sentence

AS6

9. Spring training!

AS9

8. Cool water = cool birds.

AS10

7. What a great way to read!

AS11

6. You’ve transported me into another world.

AS14

5. A Poem about Detroit perhaps?

AS12

4. I’m glad I ride a bike!

AS13

3. Goodnight, Moon.

AS15

2. “Oh, Baby” is right!

AS16

1. And the finishing touch…

AS17


Special thanks to everyone who submitted! Keep sending us your American Sentences!


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Will S. is a left-handed bibliophile who now owns a cherry-red Schwinn Traveler III. On summer afternoons you can almost see his vermilion shadow passing you at great speeds.