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The Shortest Poem In The World ©

Gordon Fjaelberg
Bridgend, Wales
1992

The shortest poem in the world
Was Marsha Higginbottam's aim;
She felt that this accomplishment
Would bring long over-due acclaim.
And so she plied, with firm resolve,
To set about her noble bid;
"Go boil your head!" the stern riposte
To any asking how she did.

A plot, she deemed, was needless waste;
A title, though, would be the thing
To concentrate her energies,
And give imagination wing.
Late she worked, what oil she burned,
To capture each and every thought;
The pain poor Marsha suffered thus,
To write a poem that was short.

Her parents tried, her neighbours tried,
Yet none made Marsha deviate;
Beyond her self-imposed regime
She would not even contemplate.
The doctor tried, the vicar tried,
But Marsha scribbled all the more;
The Bishop and Arch-Bishop tried,
Until her words be-decked the floor.

Reporters came, the TV came,
As did the local radio,
To gain some hint of progress made -
But Marsha didn't want to know.
And so she scribble-scratched away
As paper piled up high and wide;
Her worried parents, screaming: "Foul!"
Were forced to pitch a tent outside.

But then, at 5 o'clock one morn:
"I've done it!" Marsha loudly cried,
And there, toward the attic space,
She held some paper out with pride.
"The shortest poem in the world!"
Said Marsha, showing signs of strain;
On saying - slipped! The papers fell,
So Marsha had to start again.



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