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The Shortest Poem in the World

Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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3/15/2016 5:38:10 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
This is inspired by a youtube video by vsauce

First, we must distinguish what qualifies something as a poem. A poem is "a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic[1][2][3] qualities of language"such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre"to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning" (wikipedia). Basically, a poem is a work that evokes meaning beyond the strict meaning of the word.

One of the contenders for shortest poems is by Muhammad Ali:
me
we

Four-letters, which he gave in a speech at Harvard [http://genius.com...].

Yet, even better, and the best, is Jwcurry's one letter poem.

It is just this shape [https://www.google.com...].

The letter i, but dotted with his own fingerprint. The letter "i" means me, but his is his fingerprint, which could only be his. This gives meaning beyond the words (or in this case letters).

But, even further, what about poems that are nothing? R.W. Watkins's poem just consists of three lines, suggesting something that should be there, a meaning beyond the words. [http://photos1.blogger.com...]

Which one do you guys like best? Do poems of nothing count?
CodingSource
Posts: 350
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3/16/2016 6:53:27 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/15/2016 5:38:10 PM, Hayd wrote:
This is inspired by a youtube video by vsauce

First, we must distinguish what qualifies something as a poem. A poem is "a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic[1][2][3] qualities of language"such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre"to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning" (wikipedia). Basically, a poem is a work that evokes meaning beyond the strict meaning of the word.

One of the contenders for shortest poems is by Muhammad Ali:
me
we

Four-letters, which he gave in a speech at Harvard [http://genius.com...].

Yet, even better, and the best, is Jwcurry's one letter poem.

It is just this shape [https://www.google.com...].

The letter i, but dotted with his own fingerprint. The letter "i" means me, but his is his fingerprint, which could only be his. This gives meaning beyond the words (or in this case letters).

But, even further, what about poems that are nothing? R.W. Watkins's poem just consists of three lines, suggesting something that should be there, a meaning beyond the words. [http://photos1.blogger.com...]

Which one do you guys like best? Do poems of nothing count?

Jw Curry's poem is the shortest. The third one is just hard to comprehend.
If computers have no doors or fences, who needs Windows and Gates?

I have a 10-0-0 debate record with an ELO ranking of 2,814. From 610th during my first two-week stay, I am now 326th in the Debates Leaderboard: http://www.debate.org...
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,865
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3/16/2016 10:00:32 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/15/2016 5:38:10 PM, Hayd wrote:
This is inspired by a youtube video by vsauce

First, we must distinguish what qualifies something as a poem. A poem is "a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic[1][2][3] qualities of language"such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre"to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning" (wikipedia). Basically, a poem is a work that evokes meaning beyond the strict meaning of the word.

One of the contenders for shortest poems is by Muhammad Ali:
me
we

Four-letters, which he gave in a speech at Harvard [http://genius.com...].

Yet, even better, and the best, is Jwcurry's one letter poem.

It is just this shape [https://www.google.com...].

The letter i, but dotted with his own fingerprint. The letter "i" means me, but his is his fingerprint, which could only be his. This gives meaning beyond the words (or in this case letters).

But, even further, what about poems that are nothing? R.W. Watkins's poem just consists of three lines, suggesting something that should be there, a meaning beyond the words. [http://photos1.blogger.com...]

Which one do you guys like best? Do poems of nothing count?
True story. In 1988 I went with my ex, her name was Simone, to an art exhibit and "competition". I guess it was a competition because there were 1st through 10th place finishers. In third place was a dented Campbell's soup can in a medium sized ziplock bag hanging on the wall. BTW. No Andy Warhol signature as it wasn't his. They were selling it for $3000.00 So to answer your question, poems of nothing count just as much as dented cans I'm willing to bet....lol
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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3/18/2016 5:26:28 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
I think it's OK for a poem to be short, but not OK for it to be not substantive. I don't think ' me we' is very meaningful... Watkin's might count though.

BTW, this reminds me of Anscombe's essay (yes, this is an essay):

The nerve of Mr. Bennett's argument is that if A results from your not doing B, then A results from whatever you do instead of doing B. While there may be much to be said for this view, still it does not seem right on the face of it.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

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Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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3/18/2016 8:28:36 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/15/2016 5:38:10 PM, Hayd wrote:
This is inspired by a youtube video by vsauce

First, we must distinguish what qualifies something as a poem. A poem is "a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic[1][2][3] qualities of language"such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre"to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning" (wikipedia). Basically, a poem is a work that evokes meaning beyond the strict meaning of the word.

One of the contenders for shortest poems is by Muhammad Ali:
me
we

Four-letters, which he gave in a speech at Harvard [http://genius.com...].

Yet, even better, and the best, is Jwcurry's one letter poem.

It is just this shape [https://www.google.com...].

The letter i, but dotted with his own fingerprint. The letter "i" means me, but his is his fingerprint, which could only be his. This gives meaning beyond the words (or in this case letters).

But, even further, what about poems that are nothing? R.W. Watkins's poem just consists of three lines, suggesting something that should be there, a meaning beyond the words. [http://photos1.blogger.com...]

Which one do you guys like best? Do poems of nothing count?

I see the secound one as art. I feel it was conveying meaning through the symbolic use of the letter 'i' then a lingustic statement.

While I enjoy the use of negative space in the third, I feel the intent of shortest poem should exhibit a positive substance.

So I would give the title to 'me we' good meter, and undertones of more meaning.
Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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3/18/2016 11:14:56 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 8:28:36 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 3/15/2016 5:38:10 PM, Hayd wrote:
This is inspired by a youtube video by vsauce

First, we must distinguish what qualifies something as a poem. A poem is "a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic[1][2][3] qualities of language"such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre"to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning" (wikipedia). Basically, a poem is a work that evokes meaning beyond the strict meaning of the word.

One of the contenders for shortest poems is by Muhammad Ali:
me
we

Four-letters, which he gave in a speech at Harvard [http://genius.com...].

Yet, even better, and the best, is Jwcurry's one letter poem.

It is just this shape [https://www.google.com...].

The letter i, but dotted with his own fingerprint. The letter "i" means me, but his is his fingerprint, which could only be his. This gives meaning beyond the words (or in this case letters).

But, even further, what about poems that are nothing? R.W. Watkins's poem just consists of three lines, suggesting something that should be there, a meaning beyond the words. [http://photos1.blogger.com...]

Which one do you guys like best? Do poems of nothing count?

I see the secound one as art. I feel it was conveying meaning through the symbolic use of the letter 'i' then a lingustic statement.

While I enjoy the use of negative space in the third, I feel the intent of shortest poem should exhibit a positive substance.

So I would give the title to 'me we' good meter, and undertones of more meaning.

cool :)

The second one is my fav too