Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Three Letter Words

Every so often I revisit the articles written by James Fenton for his poetry masterclass. In the article To villanelle and back, Fenton looks at a variety of forms and the challenges they pose. I was particularly taken with this excerpt.
John Fuller, in response to a competition challenge, set out to write a poem consisting only of three-letter words. And in order to add to the interest, he decided on a form in which there were three three-letter words per line, and the lines came in groups of three.
What an interesting idea! Here is how the resulting poem begins.
The Kiss
by John Fuller

Who are you
You who may
Die one day

Who saw the
Fat bee and
The owl fly

Read the poem in its entirety.
This amazing poem has me wondering what kind of poems can be crafted using only three-letter words. That is your challenge. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. For the Shy

    Are you shy?
    Run far. Try
    the fox way.
    Man does not
    dim the sun,
    nor can wag
    see day lit
    for you. Why
    fit? Dip out
    all the fun
    for one. Now
    you can fly!

    --Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved

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  3. Nice job, Kate! Mine gets sporty, with a little Quincy Troupe or Tim Seibles hiphop thrown in for good measure:

    For the Win
    By Steven Withrow

    Yes—you nab
    the tip off—
    rob the orb

    jag and zag
    top key hop
    lob for two—

    out too low—
    ram the rim
    oop and jam

    bam!—all air—
    not but net
    mad sun god

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  4. For a bit of silliness:

    Bug Off, Bug

    Fly, bug, fly,
    you hit the
    eye, but cry?

    Not moi.

    © 2011 Jane Yolen, all rights reserved