Notes on the One-Line Poem

Updated: Jul 27


Why not a one-line poem?

Think about it:  The greatness of poetry as a medium is that it can take in anything, and anything it takes in can become good or even great poetry:  Think of the worlds of things taken in by Whitman and Dickinson, Ginsberg and Hecht and Ammons, Black Mountain, Deep Image, Auden, Gluck, Justice, Collins, Koch, Language poets…  catalogues, and mountains, galaxies of large and small, hot and cold,  and neither this nor that things…

So why not the one-line poem?  What’s the problem?

Well, says the critic in all of us, consider the objections, think of the contraries to be posited, the real distinctions to be made.

For example, consider this question:  In writing a one-line poem, how do you