Can You Write the World’s Shortest Poem?


We have had a couple of in depth poetry discussions over the last couple of weeks and a big thank you for taking part in the conversations. Today I thought I would bring a lighter air and a bit of fun to the Café and have a little poetry competition.

Earlier this week I had been doing some reading and came across what is claimed to be the world’s shortest poem. It is titled, Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes, or Fleas as it is more commonly known. The poem is a couplet written by Strickland Gillilan.

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Ogden Nash wrote a poem in a similar vein called Further Reflections on Parsley.

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In 1975 boxer Muhammed Ali was giving a speech at Harvard University and discussing poetry on stage with journalist George Plimpton. When asked for the shortest poem of all time, Plimpton recited “Fleas” and Ali responded, “I’ve got one: Me? Whee!”

The challenge in the café today, is can you write the world’s shortest poem? I don’t know what rules apply but let’s keep the Poetry Police on their toes and have a no rules competition. Here’s my offering to start (in the style of Spike Milligan.)


The prize is a big high five from the baristas. The floor is yours.

69 thoughts on “Can You Write the World’s Shortest Poem?

  1. Yes, I think I can!

    My One Word Poem
    By Charles Robert Lindholm

    Perhaps . . . . ?

    Copyright (c) 2017 Charles Robert Lindholm – All Rights Reserved

    My One Word Poem #2
    By Charles Robert Lindholm

    Maybe . . . . ?

    Copyright (c) 2017 Charles Robert Lindholm – All Rights Reserved

    Liked by 7 people

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  4. Love. Unconditionally. It’s Possible.

    – This begs the question of what we define as a poem and if it can actually be defined, and not just by the scribings of a rule book from the first man or woman who wrote it. But at the same time, the transformation for modern standards I wouldn’t say apply here, for the sake of “keeping up with the times” – as some things in life must remain traditional, otherwise they lose all meaning and value, as well as the things they once stood for. Just my two…three…four cents.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nice words and you put together a very thoughtful argument. I think tradition gives us our history and highlights where we have come from. Poetry is a journey and we can move it on in any way we want to. Thanks for your thoughts and poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

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