American Pragmatists

These short poems are based on an invented form called “briefs,” which you can read about on this page. Basically, the couplet has to end with the name of a (famous) person, and it has to be written in anapestic tetrameter, with the first syllable removed, for a total of eleven syllables. Variations are acceptable because not every name will fit into such a meter.

The truth is a final opinion made terse
By logic and science, said one C. S. Peirce.

Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914)


Our theories are only some fanciful games,
Unless they have practical value, said James.

William James (1842-1910)


When someone encounters a fact that is new, he
Develops a theory to guide him, said Dewey.

John Dewey (1859-1952)

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