What is it about compact poems?

What is it about compact poetry that makes it special? Makes it seem more charged?

For me, compact poems are all essence. Sometimes, a small poem can be a good sign that the poet put the pen down before the spirit left him.

Gary Hotham is a great example of an artist that respects the tradition of haiku, but also moves it forward.

Do you know his work?

Here are two classics by Gary Hotham:

tonight’s hotel room —
the stain on the rug
nothing to worry about


early in the night—
the stars we can see
the space for more


About genemyers

Gene Myers is a New Jersey poet, music journalist and columnist who learned to walk twice. His weekly column is called The Joy of Life. He was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing by The New Jersey Press Association.
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4 Responses to What is it about compact poems?

  1. I am not familiar with Gary Hotham, but I’ll make a point of changing that!

    The majority of poems I write are fairly short. They’re not compact the way that Hotham’s are, but they’re certainly not long.

    Very little long poetry is able to keep my interests (Barbara Hansby is an exception). Sometimes I worry about my attention span, but I really do think it’s a taste thing. Short and compact poems for me have an essential zen-ness. They are always in the moment; they don’t last longer than the moment. They make their statement, and then they are done. I just like the inherent simplicity.

  2. Ksenija says:

    Just as you have said it – it`s the pure essence that makes compact poems….Sometimes I say they pack a moment into a bubble 🙂

  3. abonjour says:

    Just like the value of a person is not contained in the length of their life, the value of a poem is not contained in the length of it’s lines.

    Sometimes you want to get stuck in a stare and just hang out there. But sometimes you want to take a quick glance around the room.

  4. bldherenow says:

    Hello, I would like to invite you to join; The Poetic Voice Community. It is a writer’s site where you can enter contests – add poetry and get feedback. The latest entries are listed on the blog posts. Click on link, and check us out! Then join, and post.

    Website: http://poeticvoice.ning.com/

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