I am on a small journey to help me understand what the definition of a poem is to different people, what poems mean to them.
This made me wonder, some poems are longer than others, so:
How short can a poem be until it can no longer be a poem?
Since asking the question, I stumbled across another single-letter poem.
I was skeptical about accepting such poems as true poems, but this is a rather neat one I have to say:
The letter i with the author's own unique thumbprint to complete it. The thumbprint is the most meaningful symbol that can express the meaning of the object it labels - more so than a name (names rarely are unique, at least in English).
Unlike a work of prose, which has a generally accepted predefined length (be it a short story, novella, novel, etc.) poetry is not governed by such precepts. Poetry is akin to art. A white canvas with a single stroke of paint on it can be a painting, if that is the intention of its creator. A poem can be any number of words, or just one, or even one letter, if that is the intent of its author. Public acceptance of such a work as a poem, however, is another matter entirely. Nearly 100 years ago, Marcel Duchamp submitted a urinal labelled "R.Mutt" to an art exhibition, and people have been arguing "Is it art?" ever since.
Doesn't that qualify? It rhymes, keeps a meter, and "says" more than it says. That's pretty much my definition of poetry. Not saying it's any good, though. Even more minimal:
(Wow, that's soooo deep. The minimalism powerfully evokes the impoverishment of social interactions in a technological society, especially with regard to oppressed minority groups.)