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Short and Sweet Poems

Let's Hear It For Short Poems!

Sometimes a poem can prove effective even though it is short in length. As a poet I appreciate poems of every length and style, but just for today I want to focus on the short and sweet version.

A short poem needs to have some punch, and because they employ so few words, word choice is particularly important.

One of my favourite short poems comes from the late and great Spike Milligan who wrote this clever little poem:

A Silly Poem

Said Hamlet to Ophelia
I'll write a poem to thee
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

I also like Lillian Moore's poem, Red. It employs a simile in a most effective way.


All day
across the way
on someone's sill
a geranium glows
red bright
like a
traffic light

I can't imagine Shel Silverstein not having fun writing this short, but very funny poem.

"A genuine anteater,"
The pet man told me dad.
Turned out, it was an aunt eater

And now my uncle's mad!

So now I share with you dear readers, some of the short poems gathered from my books. Hope you like them. Even though they are quite short, I hope you like them -for a LONG time.

My Pen

My pen leaks words, 
Both sharp
And sweet.
And honey.


Scary thing;
Any book by Stephen King.

Raining in Rome

It’s raining in Rome.
The morning sky,
The colour of a seagull’s wing,
Glooms above us.
Thunder mumbles
Like a brooding 
Demanding attention.


I wandered
Lonely as a clod.
Then noticed that my shoes were odd.
People passing in the street
Kept laughing
At my unmatched feet.

Conversation Peace
Mrs Gossipsocks never stops talking
That's why her husband
Often goes walking.

Imagine That

I dreamt I had a purple cat
Imagine that
A purple cat
Well, my dream came true 
I got a kitty
But, she’s not purple
What a pity!

LUNES: These poems are meant to be short. Eleven words in total. Three lines- 3 words, 5 words, 3 words. the last line is meant to be a surprise, or something unexpected.

Think of me, 
Diving gracefully into the lake,
Wearing pink slippers.

On the beach,
Lying languidly on a towel,
I sang opera.


  1. Loving the short burst of poetry, Allan. It may be that I am surprised my husband doesn't go walking... ;) Not gossip - but I *do* talk a lot, sometimes... #notallthetime

    1. Mmm, Kat. Brief encounters with people and poetry seem to be the go. Glad you enjoyed the words I shared.

  2. Lots of fun in these short poems. I don't think my students ever believed me, but I used to tell them that the shorter a piece of writing is, the harder it is to write well.

    1. Kay, I think you are onto something there with your theory. It requires a degree of pithiness or substance and word brevity as well, so the pressure is on the poet to address both requirements. Glad you enjoyed the words.

  3. You grabbed my attention with "short and sweet"—perhaps the title of my blog (Today's Little Ditty) is a clue about how I feel about short form poetry! LOVE it... and you certainly shared some great examples. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Michelle. My wife is also short and sweet, so it provides a constant reminder to write in this mode. glad you enjoyed the examples I shared.

  4. Brevity has never been my forte, but your poems remind me how powerful it can be. Perhaps I'll push myself to write a bit less, rather than a bit more. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Glad you enjoyed your 'brief' encounter Molly. Your personal brief is now set. You have your mission and it's short and sweet. Good luck.

  5. These are so much fun, Alan! Like peanuts, just a few fill you up because they're so rich... but you can't stop reading because they're addictive!

    1. A most interesting analogy Violet. Peanuts indeed. I like it. It's hard to stop at one it seems.

  6. I don't excel at the short form, but I admire it. I did manage this one:

    Fairy Tale Clerihew

    The first of Three Little Pigs
    distained using twigs
    and built from straw.
    Big Bad Wolf laughed when he saw.

  7. Ah Brenda, you're away. Practice makes all the difference.

  8. Fun collection
    of short poems I've
    no objection!

    They were all a treat!

    1. Thanks Michelle.
      Your remarks
      Are swell.

  9. written yesterday afternoon in Hobart

    at a seminar
    trying to write a lune
    thinking about dinner

    1. Trust dinner was a winner. Your lune was in tune.


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