Ode to Dandelions written in american sentences

Nature loves the despised, unwanted dandelions, blessing them yellow.

Come dance in refreshing rain, make mudpies and weave wreaths of dandelions.

Summer’s birthday candles: dandelion seed wisps float across wish strewn air.

dandelions-1341698    dandelion-38-1387988

The American Sentence as a poetic form was created by Allen Ginsberg. It was his attempt to make an American haiku. As the Japanese haiku is 17 syllables going down in Japanese text, the American Sentence is 17 syllables going across, linear, like just about everything else in America.

 In a 1991 interview with Thomas Gladysz, Allen Ginsberg was asked about the sacramental nature of life as an aesthetic for his photography. Allen replied: “I think the notion is a Native American art aesthetic and life aesthetic, but my formulation of it is reinforced by a lot of Buddhist training. The notion is basically that the first noble truth most all of us acknowledge, especially senior citizens, is that existence is transitory – life is transitory. We are born and we die. And so this is it! It gives life both a melancholy and a sweet and joyful flavor…Any gesture we make consciously, be it artwork, a love affair, any food we cook, can be done with a kind of awareness of eternity, truthfulness…In portraiture, you have the fleeting moment to capture the image as it passes and before it dissolves…It captures the shadow of the moment.” Italicized is quoted from Paul E. Nelson: About Form: What Are American Sentences.


15 thoughts on “Ode to Dandelions written in american sentences

    • lillian May 14, 2016 / 9:11 am

      I’d never heard of them til I saw the reference at dVerse Pub…..looked them up and I do agree! A wonderful form 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 14, 2016 / 9:54 am

      Good morning, Kat. It really is a fun form! I was reading that there is a person who writes an American Sentence every day 🙂 Kind of like a poetic twitter?? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kat Myrman May 14, 2016 / 9:59 am

        It is, come to think of it! 😊


  1. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 14, 2016 / 9:53 am

    catching up am I
    I recently had a conversation with my mother-in-law about dandelions. We both decided, the lovely little yellow bits of sun put smiles on dark green lawns. We also decided dandelions should be permitted to roam where they wish and should not be castrated from their fellow grass blades – it’s not fair.
    Your perfect piece–an homage to a most underrated plant should serve as poster child verse for these wine-making wonders. (never sipped dandelion wine, now I’m thinking, why the hell not?)
    I especially was quite taken by your explanation of American Sentences – you know – I don’t consider myself a poet – just a writer of sorts – one in training – and I don’t know much of the poetic terminologies – learning am I – love learning – makes me feel young;) so thank you for the lesson as well!
    happy Saturday, may the dandies fly;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 14, 2016 / 9:56 am

      Ah my friend who is a writer of dandy lines………pun intended this sunny day! 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed…….and yes…..danelions make me smile. Have been presented many a small bouque of these lovelies by small chubby toddler hands — both my children when they were young and then their children too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 14, 2016 / 11:21 am

        love the pun!
        you know, I’d forgotten about lovely dandelion bouquets – thank you for the warm memory
        and now it’s outside on this lovely day to join those beautiful bits of sun

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Victoria C. Slotto May 14, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    I love the American Sentence and dandelions make me happy–though they seem to have invaded our neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Victoria C. Slotto May 15, 2016 / 7:59 pm

        It’s been prompted a few times at dVerse. Thought about doing it again but I found one that hasn’t been done since 2011.


  3. lynn__ May 14, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    I especially like the idea of dandelions as Summer’s birthday candles 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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