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Sunday Scribblings #173: Exploring the Power of the One-Liner Poem

This should have made it out much earlier but then again life, you know.. My daughter’s benches for her project, on the other hand, are moving along nicely. All the adults in charge were impressed at the progress this weekend, and the 11 to 14 year olds who came in today to sand the benches put everything they had into their task resulting in smooth, well-sanded benches. And that one line is a long one, which brings me to today’s/this week’s poetic Sundays theme of the one-liner poem. Apparently, January 21st is one-liner day! More on this and the poetic form below.

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Notepad and a pen over it with a cup of coffee next to it. words read Sunday Scribblings, and this is for Sunday Scribblings #173:: Explore Your Creativity With One Liner Poems

Poetic Sundays: Explore the Power of the One-Liner Poem

January 21st observes One-Liners Day to celebrate all those classic one-liners, like Golem’s “My precious” (“Lord of the Rings”), or this line from Titanic “I’m the king of the world”. And Rhett Butler’s final line in the Gone With the Wind movie (but not there in the book): “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

One-liners become memorable simply for being themselves and of course they are easy to remember too! They are either comedic, inspiring, emotional, or so very unique that we can’t forget them. So today, I explore the one-liner poem, also called the monostich.

Some might argue about it being a poem, but then again, there is always someone else who will say it is. So regardless of which side you belong to, I think you might enjoy trying to craft one-liner poems (or prose or jokes or whatevers!)

What is a One-Liner Poem?

Not much to them except what their name already states! The one-liner poem, also known as a “monostich”, is a short poem (really) consisting of a single line. This aims to convey a complete thought, emotion, or image in a concise and impactful way. The one-liner poem relies on wordplay, imagery, and/or profound insights to make a lasting impression with just a single line of verse.

Note that it can be as long as the poet wants it to be, but it’s restricted to one line.

Tips for Writing One-liner poems

Writing a one-liner poem involves condensing your thoughts or emotions into a single line while creating impact. Here are some tips on how to write a one-liner poem:

  • Choose a central theme or emotion.
  • Select words that pack a punch!
  • Paint a picture with your words.
  • Keep it brief and clear.
  • Use wordplay, add puns, and such.
  • Play with line breaks, punctuation, enjambments to add rhythm.
  • Read other one-liners for ideas.
  • Start with a larger idea or even a stanza, and distill it into a single line.
  • Pick a common phrase or proverb, or a favorite one-liner, then make it your own by changing its meaning.
  • Use a random word generator to generate a word, then build a one-liner around it. This can lead to unexpected and creative results.
  • Use magnetic word tiles. There are so many kits available to help you with this.

Note: you can choose to title your poem or not. And remember, the title can be as long as you want it too as well!

Tips on Playing with and Using One-liner poems

Ways you can use these poems
  • Use them for social media captions, or as posts themselves.
  • Create greeting cards and use these poems within
  • Use them on gift-tags to add a personalized touch to your gifts.
  • Make it part of a photo or art collage
More tips and ways to play with them
  • Rewrite your one-liner poems with some changes,
    • like in a game of Chinese whispers
    • each variation fitting a different mood (comedic, dramatic, romantic, and so on)
    • with subtle changes in punctuation/structure/etc changing the meaning and tone
  • Collaboration fun
    • Create a chain of one-liners with others, where each person contributes a line around a central theme, or not!
    • Begin one-liner poems with a set sentence starter (e.g., “In the silence, I…”).

My One-Liner Poem attempts

These first two reflect the day time scenes in our home right now!

Dust dances and color romances while mirrors reflect the chaos of renewal’s chances.

A canvas of chaos, brushes and grime, of remodel and paint, simply mean – a truly dust-filled obstacle course in rhyme

This one below is for those nights where we wake up in the middle for no reason at all, and then…well..

In the silent night, a “drip-drop” roar disrupts sleep’s shore.


On My Blog and Homefront

My recent posts since and including my last Sunday Scribblings:

It has been hectic and exhausting. Well, we have some remodel work going on in our home, and even though it is the contractors doing all the hard labor, I feel exhausted at the end of each day as well. It feels like we have been working and living in an obstacle course this past week (and for the next week as well). Plus, given it is one of our two bathrooms that is undergoing work, it means we have all had to learn to work around using just the one.. 🙂 Also means, shorter bath times for my teenager for sure!!

And like I already mentioned, my daughter’s Eagle Scout project has been another ongoing project and I am proud of how much the scouts accomplished these past two weekends! But Saturday did turn out to be fun, what with scouts and parents and the contractors working on our home all vying for the garage space (since it was raining!)


On My Blog and Homefront

Hoping to post everyday this week and hoping our home gets back to normal by the next Sunday Scribblings!! A whole new home, kind of..

This Week’s Celebrations

Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)

  • Literary birthdays this week include: Francis Bacon and Lord Byron on the 22nd; Karen Abbott on the 23rd of January; Edith Wharton on the 24th; Robert Burns, Stephen Chbosky, Virginia Woolf, and W. Somerset Maugham on Jan 25th; Shannon Hale and Susan Griffin on the 26th of Jan; Lewis Carroll on Jan 27th; Susan Choi on the 28th.
  • It is National Handwriting Day on the 23rd of January
  • The 24th observes International Day of Education. It is also Library Shelfie Day (which is observed annually on the Fourth Wednesday in January)
  • While it is Burns Supper (UK) on the 25th.

Foodie Celebrations

Other Celebrations

Related Reads and More

Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. Will you be writing one or more one-liner poems? And do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

16 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #173: Exploring the Power of the One-Liner Poem

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about the progress on your daughter’s benches and the exploration of one-liner poems for Poetic Sundays. Your engaging writing style made the content interesting and easy to follow. The combination of personal anecdotes and information about one-liner poems created a well-balanced and enjoyable read.

    I appreciate the way you introduced the concept of one-liner poems and provided clear tips for writing them. The inclusion of your own one-liner poem attempts added a personal touch and demonstrated the application of the discussed tips. Your creativity shines through in the examples you shared.

    Furthermore, the section on how to use one-liner poems in various ways, such as social media captions or gift tags, was insightful and provided practical suggestions for readers to implement the learned techniques. The tips on playing with and using one-liner poems, such as collaboration and variations, added an interactive element to the post.

  2. These are great tips for those writing one line poems. Creating one line poems with others sounds like it would be fun to do.

  3. I have heard of one-line poems before but I did not know they are also referred to as a “monostich” so I’ve learned something! I love your one-line poems!

  4. Thank you for all the information and lots my son and I can use in his Homeschool Lessons this week especially the information on poems. Have a good week and I hope things get back to normal soon.

  5. The power of a one-liner poem is truly fascinating, much like the long line that signifies progress on your daughter’s benches. It’s amazing to see young minds actively participating in the creative process, sanding those benches with dedication.

  6. You did a great job in those two poems. My husband loves creating poems as well. They’re always long, though. Let’s see if he can make me a one-liner poem. 🙂

  7. I had no idea this is called a monostich and can be considered a short poem. Thank you for sharing these tips. The biggest challenge would be selecting words that pack a punch.

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