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What is the very smallest poem?

Poetry is an art form that has been long appreciated for its ability to convey emotions and ideas in a concise and impactful manner. Poets have been experimenting with different styles of poetry for centuries, from sonnets to free verse, but perhaps none are as intriguing as the very smallest poem.

In this blog post, we will explore what the very smallest poem is, who created it, and delve into its meaning and significance in the world of poetry.

The Smallest Poem in the World

The smallest poem in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is a one-letter poem by American poet, Aram Saroyan. The poem consists of a single, four-legged version of the letter “m”.

The poem was first published in Saroyan’s collection “Pages” in 1968 and has since become one of the most iconic pieces of experimental poetry ever written. Despite its brevity, the poem has sparked countless debates about its meaning and significance in the poetry world.

Interpreting the Poem

At first glance, the tiny poem may seem like a simple and unremarkable scribble. However, many have theorized that the four-legged “m” is meant to represent something greater than just a letter.

Some have suggested that the poem is a nod to the minimalist art movement of the 1960s. Others believe that the four-legged letter represents a bird, or some other creature, with its wings spread out in mid-flight.

Despite the many interpretations of its meaning, the fact remains that the poem has captured the attention of poets and literary enthusiasts all over the world, and has become a symbol of the power of simplicity in poetry.

Impact of Small Poetry on the Poetry World

The smallest poem in the world may seem like a novelty and, in many ways, it is. However, it has also had a significant impact on the world of poetry.

For one, the poem has sparked a renewed interest in experimental poetry. Many poets have been inspired by Saroyan’s minimalist style and have gone on to create their own unique works that challenge the boundaries of language and form.

In addition, the poem has become a symbol of the power of brevity in poetry. As many writers know, it can be incredibly difficult to say something meaningful in a few words. The four-legged “m” serves as a potent reminder that sometimes, the simplest and most straightforward things can have the greatest impact.


In conclusion, the smallest poem in the world may seem like a trivial and unimportant piece of art, but it has captivated the hearts and minds of poets and literary enthusiasts around the world. Its simplicity and mystery have sparked countless debates and inspired a renewed interest in experimental and minimalist poetry.

Perhaps most importantly, the poem serves as a reminder that sometimes, the smallest things can have the greatest impact. And in a world where we are constantly bombarded with noise and information, the ability to distill our thoughts and emotions into a few simple words is a powerful tool indeed.


What is a one word poem?

A one word poem is a type of poem that consists of only a single word. It is often thought of as an extreme form of minimalism in poetry, as it condenses the essence of an idea or emotion into just one word. This type of poem is characterized by its simplicity, as it relies on the power of a single word to convey its message.

One of the most interesting aspects of one word poems is their form. These poems are often presented in a way that emphasizes their shape on the page. The poem consists of a single word and a title, and these are to be thought of as two straight lines that make a corner. This gives the poem a visual form, which is an important part of its overall effect.

Despite the simplicity of one word poems, they can be surprisingly complex. A single word can have multiple meanings and connotations, and one word poems often rely on these nuances to create meaning. For example, the word “love” can mean many different things to different people, and a poem that uses this word as its only content might convey a wide range of emotions and ideas.

One word poems are often seen as a challenge for both the writer and the reader. For the writer, it can be difficult to find a single word that can carry the weight of an entire poem. For the reader, it can be a challenge to interpret the meaning of a poem that consists of only one word. However, these challenges are what make one word poems so interesting and rewarding.

A one word poem is a unique and challenging form of poetry. It relies on the power of a single word to convey its meaning, and it often emphasizes its shape and form on the page. Though it is a simple form, one word poems can be surprisingly complex, and they are an important part of the wider tradition of minimalist poetry.

How short can a poem be?

When it comes to the length of a poem, there are no hard and fast rules. Poems can vary in length from a single word to thousands of words, depending on the style, format and message of the poem. In fact, some of the most iconic and memorable poems of all time, such as William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow”, only contain a few words.

The beauty of poetry is that it can be expressed in a variety of forms and lengths. Some poets choose to express their thoughts and emotions using elaborate meters and rhyming schemes, while others may prefer to write in free verse or to experiment with form. Haikus, for example, are a popular form of poetry that traditionally consist of 17 syllables arranged in three lines, but there are no strict rules dictating exactly how long a haiku should be.

Additionally, some poets may deliberately choose to write very short poems as a way to convey a powerful message in a condensed and impactful way. For example, the poem “Fog” by Carl Sandburg is only three lines long, yet it paints a vivid picture of a foggy day with its simple imagery and word choice:

“The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking.”

Even though Sandburg’s poem is just a few lines long, it conveys a strong sense of atmosphere and emotion.

A poem can be any number of words, or just one, or even one letter, if that is the intent of its author. Public acceptance of such a work as a poem, however, is another matter entirely. The beauty of poetry lies in its ability to convey a range of emotions and ideas in a concise and impactful way, and as such, the length of a poem is ultimately up to the poet and their creative vision.

What poem is shorter than a haiku?

The poem that is shorter than a haiku is called senryu. Like the haiku, senryu is a Japanese form of poetry consisting of three lines, but with fewer syllables. In total, senryu contains 17 or fewer morae or on, which are rhythmic units similar to syllables in the English language. However, while haiku commonly focuses on nature, senryu is often centered around human foibles.

Senryu has a similar structure to haiku, but its content is usually darker and more cynical. It can be humorous, satirical, or critical, but it always mocks the shortcomings of human beings. In traditional Japanese literature, senryu was often used as a form of social commentary, which criticized and ridiculed societal norms.

In terms of the construction, the first and third lines of a senryu contain five or seven morae, while the second line has approximately seven morae. This structure, like the haiku, is meant to be compact and concise. Therefore, in just a few words, a senryu can capture a moment, an idea, or a character flaw.

Senryu is a short form of Japanese poetry with a maximum of 17 syllables. It is usually described as being similar to haiku, but with a focus on human subjects. Its structure of three lines and the concise use of words make it a challenging but rewarding art form.