• Callum Holgate

Quickfire Round

Rather than give each of the last four poems their own post, as they are all quite short, I thought I’d compile them in this post here.

Recently I have been reading a lot more modern poetry, like the poetry of R. H. Sin, who has a very distinctive, short, and up-front style. His poems are positioned on the page, encased by the blank page around them, drawing attention to their short length. Given that I am known to waffle a lot, and that I tend to struggle condensing my ideas into short poems, I thought I’d experiment with short-form poetry, and see what I could come up with. The results are ‘Ashes’, ‘An Introduction to The Album’, ‘i’ll laugh’ and ‘A Prelude.’


‘Ashes’ was a poem I created for another competition on AllPoetry, where we had a very strict word limit. I wanted to challenge myself with keeping things brief, while also having the few words convey a very compelling image. I’d like to think I achieved this with ‘Ashes’ and analysing the poem can be seen as an exercise in word choice. With very limited space, I had to choose each word carefully, and as such, have to pick the most powerful words, words than can contain more than just their own meaning, to tell a story of their own.

i’ll laugh

Some poems simply start as an idea, or an image, that I want to convey in writing. A feeling you get can often not be put into words, and in this poem, I wanted to capture that little joy you get when you can find amusement in the misery of someone who has wronged you. ‘i’ll laugh’ captures the sense of happiness you feel guilty about when you come out on top in a scenario; that little laugh a welcome one, but not one you feel proud of.

An Introduction To The Album

Named after The Hotelier’s song of the same name, ‘An Introduction To The Album’ was written as an extension of my own perception of writing. It captures my thoughts on my writing process; how I go about starting a poem, the place I need to be in mentally to create a poem, and ultimately a sense of disappointment at the perpetual sense of incompletion I feel with almost all of my writing. So named because I felt it encapsulated the beginning of something, ‘An Introduction To The Album’ hold the same sombre tone as its namesake song, but ironically is also one of my most ‘complete’ poems. In many ways, it does wrap up the ‘story’ I wish to tell, while also suggesting that there is more than can be said and will be said.

A Prelude

My most R. H. Sin-inspired poem, ‘A Prelude’ encompasses his targeted style, addressing the reader as a person, or perhaps suggesting that there is one target who the words were aimed at, while doing so in a succinct manner. ‘A Prelude’ is my favourite of these four exploratory poems, and the one that I think utilises the short form the best.

So that was my journey into being a more succinct writer. Frankly, writing such short poems felt odd, I felt like I was holding back, but intentionally. It is a strange break in style when I’m so often used to writing sprawling poems that perhaps have the same effect as just five words. I’m interested seeing how this exploration feeds into my later writing, and hopefully the poems themselves were a bit less daunting to read in this small collection.

#blog #poem #poems #poetry #writing #short #minimalist

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