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National Poetry Month: April 10, 2020 — The World Is Yours To Make

April 10, 2020

Husserl says the world is yours to make on each and every occasion.

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 this life in the time of the corona virus. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am missing my walks in the world. But it is more than just the physical walk. It’s the mental walk too.

Henry David Thoreau reminds us: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

What are the thoughts that dominate our minds? What have we planted in the soil of contemplation? What’s your American Sentence for today? 

Allen Ginsberg came up with the concept — an American sentence is like a haiku in that it has 17 syllables but it’s not three lines in a stanza but one line, a 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!

 

IMAGE with Thoreau quote is by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo: “One of the only westerners trained in the rare Buddhist art of silk applique thangkas, she is passionate about the preservation and evolution of this Tibetan cultural tradition. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures. Leslie’s work is simultaneously traditional and contemporary, and her fascinating story is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, Creating Buddhas: the Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas. Leslie mentors a select group of students around the world through her Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program, and her Weekly Wake-ups provide a thread of inspiration to set your week on the path to awakening.”

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