What is a 1 Line Poem Called?

by Amy

A one-line poem is a form of poetry that consists of a single line of verse. This concise and powerful form is specifically known as a “monostich.” The term “monostich” comes from the Greek words “mono,” meaning single, and “stichos,” meaning line.

Characteristics of One-Line Poems

One-line poems are characterized by their brevity and the poet’s ability to convey a significant amount of meaning, emotion, or imagery in just a few words. These poems often rely on precise language, strong imagery, and impactful word choices to create a lasting impression on the reader. The challenge lies in distilling complex ideas or emotions into a single, potent line.

Historical Context and Usage

One-line poems have a long history and have been utilized in various poetic traditions. For example, ancient Greek epigrams often consisted of single lines or couplets, conveying witty, poignant, or philosophical messages. In contemporary poetry, the monostich continues to be a form that poets experiment with to achieve maximum impact through minimalism.

Examples of One-Line Poems

Here are a few examples of notable one-line poems:

“Silence is the loudest noise.” – Anonymous

This one-line poem uses paradox to convey a deep truth about the nature of silence and noise, highlighting the power of quiet reflection.

“In a station of the metro:” – Ezra Pound

Originally part of a two-line poem, this single line evokes a vivid image of fleeting faces in a metro station, encapsulating the transient nature of modern life.

“The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t mind some people dying all the time.” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

This monostich from Ferlinghetti packs a powerful punch, juxtaposing beauty and mortality to provoke thought and reflection.

Significance and Impact

One-line poems hold a special place in poetry due to their ability to convey profound messages succinctly. The brevity of monostich poems forces both the poet and the reader to focus on the essence of the idea or emotion being expressed. This form can create a strong, memorable impact, often lingering in the reader’s mind long after it has been read.

See also: What Is The Style Of A Poem Called?

Writing One-Line Poems

To write effective one-line poems, consider the following tips:

Focus on Precision: Choose your words carefully to ensure each one carries significant weight and meaning.

Use Strong Imagery: Create vivid, impactful images that resonate with the reader.

Emphasize Emotion: Convey deep emotions or complex ideas in a way that immediately engages the reader.

Experiment with Language: Play with paradox, metaphor, and other literary devices to add depth and intrigue.


Understanding the form and impact of one-line poems, or monostichs, enriches our appreciation of poetic minimalism. These poems demonstrate how powerful language can be, even when used sparingly. By exploring and experimenting with one-line poetry, both poets and readers can discover the beauty and intensity that can be encapsulated in just a single line.

FAQs about Poetic Terms and Forms

1. What is a 4 line poem called?

A 4-line poem is called a quatrain. Quatrains are versatile and can be used in various types of poems. They often follow specific rhyme schemes such as ABAB, AABB, or ABCB, but they can also be unrhymed. Quatrains are common in many poetic forms, including ballads and hymns.

2. What is a singular line in a poem called?

A singular line in a poem is referred to as a line. Each line in a poem is a unit of language into which the poem is divided. The length, rhythm, and placement of lines contribute significantly to the poem’s overall form and meaning.

3. Can a poem line be one word?

Yes, a poem line can be one word. Poets often use single-word lines to create emphasis, enhance the poem’s visual impact, and contribute to its rhythm. A one-word line can serve as a powerful tool to highlight a key idea or emotion within the poem.

4. What is a two-stanza poem called?

A two-stanza poem does not have a specific, unique name based solely on its stanza count. Instead, it is simply referred to as a poem with two stanzas. The term “couplet” refers to a pair of lines that typically rhyme and have the same meter, but it does not apply to full stanzas. A poem with two stanzas can take on various forms and structures, depending on the poet’s intent and the style of the poem.

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