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.
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13 thoughts on “Read Write Poem-American Sentences

  1. Becca,

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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