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Epigram (1 Viewer)


WF Veterans

Derived from the Greek “epigramma” meaning “to write upon.” The form developed in Hellenistic Greece and began as an inscription carved onto a stone monument or onto an object such as a vase. It became a literary form in its own right and may have developed out of the proverb.

Originally the epigram began as an inscription for the dead or for sacrificial offerings. Its current form is a short witty poem or pointed saying. There is no particular form for the epigram though it often employs a rhymed couplet or quatrain. The main characteristics of the epigram is that it is short and often witty. English epigrams are often pithy, witty, ironic, and sometimes harsh.

Works Cited

Hirsch, Edward. Poet’s Glossary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014.


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Does this sound like an epigram?

His Eyes

His brown eyes are under the brim of his hat.
His child’s eyes are in the shadowy curve.
The wide mortared wall is painted white.
In his oversized hat he stands before the brick.

a poet friend
RH Peat


WF Veterans
I divorced and also decided to be cremated. Prior to that, I instructed that my headstone read:

Someone Bored Me To Death

Does that meet criteria of epigram? Not a poem, but it is pointed. Smiles.

Thanks for definition.


WF Veterans
As far as I'm aware, yes. Both fit the idea of an epigram. I consulted four of my books and only one had anything solid about epigrams. It is not a form, per se, but rather a genre of sorts.
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Enter what? Guess I'm outta the loop.

Here you go, Sas. :)

Welcome to the June 2017 Poets-in-Progress Challenge! This month we will focus on the epigram.

For this challenge poets will write an epigram. For more information about the epigram please see the discussion in the Poetry Discussion board.

Poets have until 5:00 PM CST 15 June to post their original poems. There will be a ten minute grace period to edit work. Please only post one entry.

The Poets-in-Progress challenge is about improvement and is for every skill level. Judges' critique and feedback is designed to give the poet the tools needed to hone their skills and improve their work.

The judges will post their comments and feedback in the Young Poet's Society Judging Center.

Poets will have until 5:00 PM on the 25th of June to post revised work. Please do NOT edit the original poem.

The Poets-in-Progress Challenge is scored with points possible out of the following categories:

Title- 5 points
Message- 15 points
Mood- 15 points
Imagery- 15 points
Mastery of Technique/Form- 25 points
Movement- 10 points
Spelling and Grammar- 15 points

Total score- 100 points

For more information about the way the challenge is judged please see the judging guide.

The judges for this challenge are to be announced.

The winner of the Poets-in-Progress challenge will be the poet with the most IMPROVED poem.

Winners of the Poets-in-Progress challenge will receive a month's FOWF subscription and automatic qualification in the annual Grand Invitational Poetry Challenge.

Secure entries may be posted in the secure entry thread but a link must be provided to secure entries here in this thread.
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WF Veterans
I haven't seen Fantastical on in a while and I doubt she will enter considering the fit she threw over the haiku challenge and titles.


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I'm not entering, but I must share my all-time favourite epigram, written by Shakespeare's contemporary, Ben Jonson.. Jonson was asked to write something for the headstone of a friend's five-year-old daughter, who had just died. As the story goes, the grieving father spoke to Jonson about the little girl and her virtues for an entire afternoon.

Here's what Jonson produced:

Underneath this stone doth lie,
As much Beauty as can die.


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one reference shows:

U= 1 long or 2 short

which looks pretty simple in form,
'til applied to actual language


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