The Shortest Poem in History

Photo, with thanks, by Georgio Travato

When I came across Strickland Gillilan’s 1927 poem, “Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes,” I had a good laugh. Not only because it’s a concise, funny poem but because the long, complicated title is comically in contrast. Apparently, someone else thought the same thing (as far as I can tell, nobody has fessed up yet) and later shortened the title to “fleas.” So here it is, the shortest poem in history:

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Writing a Mask Poem

A mask poem (also called a Persona) is written from the point of view of an object, an animal, or a person (other than yourself). Mask poems can be long or short, serious or humorous. There are no rules as far as meter or rhyme pattern goes but its important to select an interesting subject and use your imagination to reveal the feelings of the object. Is the object lonely, joyful, afraid? Why?

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