Derek R. Audette

(June 16th,1971 / Hull, Quebec, Canada)

The Shortest Poem Ever Written


The shortest poem ever written
was a poem that just said:
“A”

At roughly the same time,
another poet
was writing another poem
which just said:

“B”

A debate then formed
as to which
exactly
was the shortest poem
ever written.

The general consensus
was that they both were
the shortest poems
ever written,
as both poems contained
the same amount of words
and the same amount of
letters.
So,
in essence,
it was a tie.

However, the poet who wrote
the ‘b’ poem
argued that
technically,
his poem was shorter.

His argument was that
since both poems
contained the same amount
of words,
the same amount
of letters,
then that factor
must be thrown out
as a measuring device.

Instead,
he argued,
that when written
in the same typeface,
and the same point size,
the letter ‘B’ takes up
less horizontal space
than does the letter ‘A’
in the majority of
typefaces.

Experts were called in
to assess the matter,
panels were formed,
commissions were
initiated,
independent
investigations were
carried out,
un-biased
third-party
arbitrators
were summoned
to hear the case.

All findings were
inconclusive
and nobody could
agree.

Many years later
entire dissertations
were written on
the matter.

And, the world
still can’t make up
its mind.

Submitted: Friday, October 22, 2004
Edited: Saturday, June 11, 2005

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