A Monoku is a type of poem made up of a single horizontal line. Monoku emerged as an independent style of poetry in the 1970s.
Unlike the traditional Haiku, which is made up of three lines with a total of seventeen syllables, Monoku features a single line consisting of seventeen syllables or fewer.
The poem contains a pause brought about by speech rhythm with slight or no punctuation. The first letter of the line should not be capitalized.
The pause allows for a contrasting of nature images similar to the traditional three-line Haiku.
A Monoku is about as compact of a poem as possible. However, even with a short one-liner, the poet can communicate an idea and depict a picture in the reader’s mind. The poet leaves interpretation of the poem up to the reader as it may contain quite a few meanings. Like many of the other Japanese poetic forms, Monoku is considered to be “micropoetry.”
This week, I have written several poems using this form including: