One of my favorite small poems…

One of my favorite small poems is Progress Report by A.R. Ammons:

Progress Report

Now I’m
into things

so small
when I

say boo
I disappear

When I first came across it, I didn’t have a clue what it meant. But it stuck with me. One day, about a year or so later, I was walking through a library and it hit me! Aha! That’s what that poem is about! I love that the poem came to me like a little puzzle. It seemed so cute that I let it follow me around and one day it bit me! By that point what could I do? I had already bonded with it and biting me was just its nature…

What is it about small poems? Is it that compact poems are all essence? Is a successful small poem one in which the poet had the good sense to get out before the magic was gone?


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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2 Responses to One of my favorite small poems…

  1. Jane LeCroy says:

    Essence and magic don’t have to do with length. It’s just a good poem- size doesn’t matter. Good poems do follow and haunt us; the shortness is just incidental, superficial, like, liking blonds or brunettes or long legs…ultimately beauty is just something that rings in our hearts and minds. Real beauty, good poems, make us feel and think, they move us and stay with us. You love short poems, Gene, everyone knows that. What is it about blonds? There is just a bunch of blond loving people out there. I love good poems, short, long, straightforward, mysterious, imagistic, dada, philosophical, villanelle…. beauty has many bodies and shapes. We can never distill the formula. We just must appreciate when it presents itself and we recognize it. That being said, I love small poems because they are so easy to memorize and write down quick, like a good quote but filled with more possibility and deep because it’s poetry and poetry is THE BEST!

  2. John Salacan says:

    the poem
    crept behind him
    & when he was almost lost
    it bit!
    –John Salacan

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