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National Poetry Month: April 9, 2020 — Be Soul By Walking

April 9, 2020
The Latin phrase solvitur ambulando means “It’s solved by walking.”

You be soul by walking; you create your world the way you walk in it.

During Covid, I miss making soul as I move through the world walking.

April is National Poetry Month plus locked down with stay in place orders so I’m posting an American sentence or two every day along with an image that reflects the sentence and my experience during life in the time of the corona. 

I usually walk about 10 miles a week, about three miles three or four times a week. I usually hike the pictured hills above my home or from my house to the beach to walk along the Pacific Ocean Promenade to the Ventura River. But the park and the promenade and everything is closed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We do have a dog, and so we do have permission to walk in our neighborhood with him but we’ve had a lot of rain. Mostly I’m walking in my yard which has a steep slope and pulling weeds.  It’s not the same but it is what I can do.

I miss walking, miss the birds, the wildflowers, the views, the hills, the air.

Allen Ginsberg came up with the concept of the American Sentence in contrast to a Japanese Haiku. They are similar: a classic haiku has 17 syllables in three lines (5-7-5) while an American Sentence is one line, one sentence. As haiku seeks to offer an image that generates emotion and conveys a moment in time, the best Sentences do more than just be a sentence in 17 syllables.

I learned about American Sentences from Paul E. Nelson who I met at the Taos Poetry Circus in 2000.

According to Paul, the key to writing a good American Sentence comes from Ginsberg’s notion that poets are people who notice what they notice.

He has been writing one a day since January 1, 2001. Learn more about American Sentences and how to write good ones from Paul here.

Share your own American Sentence in the comments!

 

 

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