Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Micro Poetry ~ Streetlight Rain

Greetings to all!
Today is the day we put the "mini' back into the Sunday Mini-Challenge, and return to the option of form poetry. The object of this challenge is to write a poem in no more than 10 lines (but you may write in fewer than 10 lines all the way down to a single American sentence). Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred.

Hard Rain
Gilad 173 (Photobucket) 
As we are now in the third week of NaPoWriMo, I am going to break with my traditional open-ended prompt to focus on The American Sentence pioneered by Allen Ginsberg.

American Sentences as a poetic form was Ginsberg’s effort to make American the haiku. If haiku is seventeen syllables going down in Japanese text, he would make American Sentences seventeen syllables going across, linear, like just about everything else in America. In Cosmopolitan Greetings, his 1994 book, he published two and a half pages of these nuggets, some of which had scene-setting preambles.
For example:

Tompkins Square Lower East Side N.Y. 

Four skinheads stand in the streetlight rain chatting under an umbrella. (1987)

And:

Rainy night on Union square, full moon. Want more poems? Wait till I’m dead. (August 8, 1990, 3:30 a.m.)

To read more of the fascinating article by Paul E. Nelson, click HERE.

If you would like to try your hand at this form, I would love to read your efforts, but the initial challenge to write a poem of 10 lines or less, focusing on the theme: "Streetlight Rain" is also an option.




20 comments:

Kim Russell said...

I love this prompt, Kerry! I've been wanting to write in American Sentences for a while but never found the right prompt or theme. This was the perfect prompt! I went to New York for the first and only time in my life the year after 9/11. We had some really good weather, it was just before the New York Marathon, but we also had a day of pouring rain. Unfortunately, I didn't have any photos of the rainy bits!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I was happy, too, to try some American sentences – it's been a while.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Friends, I neglected to add to my post the invitation to link ore than one poem, for those who would like to use Sunday as a chance to catch up on poems for April, or get ahead (I am one of the latter since I will be back at work next week and the hectic pace at the start of a new school term always subdues the muse.)

Kerry O'Connor said...

* and that should read "MORE than one"...

Susie Clevenger said...

Happy Easter! Great prompt Kery

Unknown said...

Happy Easter to all those celebrate! Loved the prompt, Kerry ❤️

paulscribbles said...

combined the American Sentance part of this prompt with napowrimo's write a letter prompt.

Marian said...

I love this SO MUCH. Thanks for sharing that great article, Kerry!! Love love. I could go on a bender with these but will try to restrain myself.

angieinspired said...

I did a couple, though I subscribe to the notion that it's far better to leave your reader with one lasting image...

Jim said...

Thank you Kerry, I like the American Sentence Poems but don't write them often. Hard for me to put a nice thought and carry it in seventeen syllables. Wordy, I know me.
HAPPY EASTER !!
..

Kerry O'Connor said...

What happened to your link, Marian? It leads to an unpublished page and after your comment here, I am eager to read your sentences.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I linked it up for you.
:)

Marian said...

Whaaaaaa trying to fix

Kerry O'Connor said...

Hahahaha!!!

I deleted mine.

Marian said...

OMG cross purposes! I hope my little sentences are worth all the hassle!

Outlawyer said...

Thanks, Kerry. My stanzas are American Sentences, but not sure I've quite got the flow. Lovely prompt. An old friend lived in Tompkins Square Park for many years (not in--many people did live in the park) but On the park, meaning with windows looking out of. It is a very interesting park--a lot of weird history--and of course right near where Ginsberg lived. k.

Isadora Gruye said...

I hearted this prompt so much, thanks for the inspirado, Kerry!

De said...

LOVE the American sentence! Especially during such a busy month as April. :)
Thanks, Kerry!

Margaret said...

I'm off with the kids to Charleston, SC tomorrow for Easter break - but I will comment and visit in the morning as may daughter gets one last ride on her horse in the early morning before we go... WHY is haiku so HARD? ;)

Martin Kloess said...

Here's a fun one - "Raining so I don't know what to write."