Lines That Stand On Their Own

matthews

Sometimes you come up with a beautiful line or turn of phrase for a poem and then construct a not-so-beautiful poem around it.

Reading a collection of William Matthews poems, I noticed he found a solution for this. If he couldn’t make the poem worthy of the line, he gave the line its own principality and crowned it a “One-Liner.”

Here are a few “One-liners” shared in the Matthews book I’ve been dabbling in:

 

THE NEEDLE’S EYE, THE LENS

Here comes the blind thread to sew it shut.

LUST ACTS

But desire is a kind of leisure.

SLEEP

border with no country

HOW CAREFUL FIRE CAN BE

is not for fire to tell

SPIRITUAL LIFE

To be warm, build an igloo

NO TRUE RHYME IN ENGLISH FOR “SILVER”

“Pilfer” is true enough for me

DAWN

Insomnia, old tree, when will you shed me?

WHY I DIDN’T NOTICE IT

The moss on the milk is white

PREMATURE EJACULATION

I’m sorry this poem’s already finished

THE PAST

Grief comes to eat without a mouth

SNOW

The dead are dreaming of breathing

 

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