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Short Poems

Article by Kate Dempsey © 16 June 2011.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Do you write short poems? Perhaps you want to venture into long poem territory, or share your short poems. Read on.

Short Poem

I do tend to write fairly short poems. I do have some that go on to a second page, but they would be the exception. Sometimes I’ve got on to a rant and can’t stop. That doesn’t usually make for a good poem, it has to be said. Polemic is tough to do and still keep your readers’ attention.

I write short poems because

I have short thoughts.

My shortest poem there. I think it should have a really long title. What do you think?

If you, like me, have difficulty getting on to page two, check out this youtube video from the English poet Jo Shapcott, who recently read at the ever fabulous and not to be missed, Dublin Writers’ Festival in May.


Her top tip is to write the poem down on one day. The next day, come back to the poem but only read the last line. Perhaps you could print it or hand write it and cover the top of the poem. Your subconscience will have been thinking about the poem and the theme of the poem overnight anyway. Use the last line of yesterday’s poem as the first line of today’s poem.

So with my very, very short poem, I’ll be starting with

I have short thoughts…

I always have

or think I have

maybe I’ve forgotten

My mind is full

Ideas flit frontal lobes to fingers

fancies or fruitful paths to follow

Hm. The start of something there, maybe. What do you think? Give it a try yourself and let everyone know how you get on.

And if you fo write short poems. like 140 characters max, what better forum than twitter. Try @tinylittlepoems where Katie Keys writes a poem a day. Inspirational.

Follow Kate online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

KATE DEMPSEY runs writing.ie's Poetic License blog and is our poetry guru. She is a writer and a blogger living in Maynooth. She writes fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry and is widely published in Ireland and abroad, in magazines, anthologies and on the radio. She fits this around her family and a full time job, writing on the sofa, on the train and in that little coffeeshop on the corner.

Poetry can be a solitary activity and she appreciates the support she received from the online community, particularly when starting out. She is excited about continuing the dialogue with her blog here.