Monday, November 19, 2007

Read Write Poem-American Sentences

Four ancient women, memories gone, sit silently, watching TV.
Inhabitants of their own small world, everyone else is excluded.
I'm just one more smiling stranger, even to the one who birthed me.

These are my American Sentences, a poetic form originated by Allen Ginsberg, which might be considered the western version of haiku. They consist of a single sentence of seventeen syllables, written in a linear fashion.
"The format of American Sentences allows no excuse and serves as a reminder of the conditions, situation, atmosphere and shadow of the moment." writes Paul Nelson, in his article on this interesting poetic form.
My sentences were inspired by a visit to my mother in law, who has Alzheimer's Disease.
You can find more American Sentences at Read Write Poem, and new site for poetry sharing.



Blogger Jo said...

Very poignant, Becca.

Blogger Linda said...

So sad! You evoke tons of emotion in very few words!

Anonymous Christine said...


These sentences make a poignant lovely poem. I have a vivid image of the women, as well as the narrator watching, listening, thinking.

Blogger pepektheassassin said...

Nicely visual--but yes, sad. I agree with all of the above.

Blogger polka dot witch said...

this is a great sentence: I'm just one more smiling stranger, even to the one who birthed me. it works so well with the other two that precede it. the first two create a comfortable rhythm, something expected, and then this one makes the bottom fall out. very powerful!

Anonymous UL said...

Strangers in the smallest of worlds, one's own family... but so very true - happens to most of us. Thank you, beautifully crafted.

Anonymous kimberley said...

Strange how such concise sentences can take the reader into such depth. So very well done.

Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

So very deep. Sad and poignant.

Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

very sad, reminds me of volunteering with people with dementia when I was a student

Blogger paris parfait said...

The grouping of these three sentences eloquently tells a sad story. Lovely work, Becca.

Anonymous June said...

I hope this comment doesn't repeat - my first try seems to have disappeared into cyberspace.

Your American Sentences were very poignant Becca. I was taken by their form too: short and to the point. I relate to that (Spatter) and may have to check into the Read Write Poem site you linked. Thanks for sharing!

Blogger Kelly Malloy said...

I am not a big poetry fan, but, I really loved that poem! I could feel such powerful emotions from so few words!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Becca,

...deb here to say ReadWritePoem is working it again. Stop by and visit sometime.


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