Monday, 19 July 2010

An American Sentence

No, not 20 years in St Quentin, but a poem for the Poetry Bus, driven this week by Argent. The term "American Sentence" was coined by Allen Ginsberg to describe a variation on the haiku. It consists of a single line of 17 syllables. This is it:

Love Story


So this is the tunnel of love, I said. No, sucker, it's the ghost train.


Since one American Sentence seems a bit of a measly contribution, here's another one - albeit a bit off-topic. OK, completely off-topic:


Self-loathing infects the eye: ant hills amaze us, cities appal us.

21 comments:

jinksy said...

That wraps up the subject nicely! Thanks for introducing me to an American Sentence, a term I've not heard before.

Gwei Mui said...

I've learnt something new - a new form. Brilliant It echos my feeling about the tunel of love lol :)

Argent said...

Ooh, I like these! Pithy and self-contained, saying so much in so few words. Excellent stuff.

Erratic Thoughts said...

:) Words of Wisdom!
Lovely...It says about everything it is to say...
~Cheers

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, like that first one!
x

Poet in Residence said...

Pretty fair, Dominic.

John Hayes said...

I wasn't familiar with the term "American Sentence"--both very good one line poems!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I shall now go away and try some - a good discipline to get one's thoughts into one line of the right number of syllables. Next time you drive the bus perhaps you could set the test for us all.

Enchanted Oak said...

You taught me something and gave a couple of marvelous lines. That second one about the ants really got me. I've been fighting them in my kitchen, and you remind me they are a marvel of nature. Maybe I should go pull the ant bait....
Masochistic Rhythms

Niamh B said...

interesting form alright dominic, thanks for the intro!

Domestic Oub said...

A form I was quite unfamiliar with, but it has great potential!

(I'm tired, is that 17?)

Loved the first, made me smile:)

tony said...

By Chance I Am reading a book by James Sallis At The Moment.similar Elements Here.

Jeanne Iris said...

These are both wonderful. My favorite is the self-loathing one, for the act of looking downward yielded such profundity.

Peter Goulding said...

Oh yes! God, I'm really getting an education this week.Great exercise in paring down!!

Rachel Fenton said...

That's an American sentence? Really? Because I know one or two Americans personally who fit way more syllables in!! :)

I like them both but the second one seems to be the most successful - it has a bash you in the head quality which I like - especially when managed in only 17 syllables! Cool.

The Bug said...

See, I'm suspicious of those tunnels of love too! I like this a lot - but even though I am the soul of brevity I'm not sure I could be as successful as you were.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Very interesting Dominic. Much better than a haiku to this eye.Love the first one and the second one has me trying to work it out.Different as ever and thank god for different!!

crazyfieldmouse said...

Very concise, what more is there to say. like it very much
cfm

Kat said...

As poets, I'm sure we're all aware that just because it's short, does not necesarily mean it is easy. There is genius behind these lines.

Kat

Imola said...

Nice!

Helen said...

17 syllables from you are quite a treat ... and times two yet!