One Sentence Poems

A favorite assignment each year in my AP Literature course is the challenge to write a one sentence poem which employs at least two literary devices we have studied.

Here is a sampling from this year’s class ( used by permission from the authors).  The students vote for their favorites after all have posted:


I had a balloon,
a lovely balloon, big and blue and buoyant, but
I loosened my grip
and felt the string starting to slip, slipping, slipped
Through my fingers
Away to the big, blue sky as it hastened to rise, to soar, to ride the current
Flying free
away from me.

~ Faith Liu  (1st place)


I stare at the portrait,
And shudder at its cold smile,
its stone eyes—
its burnt heart;
as I turn away, its narcissistic neck turns along with me,
And I notice the glass surface.. 

~ Emily Yang  ( second place)

“A Child’s Thoughts on Politics” 

I don’t like



soldiers slashing someone’s son


and pro-test-ors march-ing:

I don’t like freedom of speech.

~ Anon ( third place)

What once was desired
Now lies rejected for age;
(Forever forsaken, foolishly forgotten)
What Steve introduced on stage
Drives consumers to madness & greed.
-Josh Calvetti



Holy Fire;

Illume my way to hearts reclaimed.


The Tree
It stands, sturdy as time,

Steadily rising skyward,
Until a stray word
Ignites, and
the giant

 ~ Elizabeth Leach


glows luridly in a neon sign,
shimmers about the mangled feet of dancers,
flashes its warning from scars twining young arms,
flickers fitfully in starving eyes of children;
pain radiates, light unfurling, love too bright to be seen,
from the holes in God’s skin.

~ Annabel Carroll

The Dog’s Tale

I saw a dog

chase its’ tail—

wondered if

I, too,

chase the wind

~ Caleb McGaughran

One may say, at the high school age:
what is there to fear; no longer does appear
the bogey man, big black bear, scary terrorist from Iran
in our dark rooms and waking hours, but a doom
so dreadful and repulsive that we all avoid it and tremble
as we turn and wander in unconcern
sometimes to the morasses of Facebook, sometimes
to the comfort of video games- we need no aim,
daydreaming will do, anything we construe,
until the day homework looks us in the face
with some information 
– stop your procrastination.

~ Ben Che



is a cry for redemption

unnoticed until

our ears


our hearts.

 ~ Jordy Searcy

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