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A Monoku is a type of poem which is made up of a single horizontal line. Traditionally considered as a haiku writing, it is currently accepted as a variant of the haiku form of poetry. Monoku emerged as an independent style of poetry in the 1970s.

Unlike the Haiku which is made up of three outlines with a total of seventeen syllables, Monoku features a single line consisting of seventeen syllables or even fewer.

It contains a pause brought about by speech rhythm with slight or no punctuation. The first letter should not be capitalized – but instead written in lower case.

Familiar examples of Monoku are:


Pig and I – spring rain by Marlene Mountain

An icicle – a moon drifting through it by Matsuo Allard

Listen to the pause – silence is golden by Jack Jordan


As is evident, a Monoku is about as economical as a composer can get. However, even with a short one-liner, the poet can communicate and paint a picture in the reader's mind. With this in mind, it is up to the reader to interpret the Monoku, and quite a few meanings are probable. 

A haiku in a single horizontal line.


an icicle the moon drifting through it

Matsuo Allard (Bird Day Afternoon, High/Coo Press, 1978)

Related Information

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  • See poems containing the word: Monoku.
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  • How many syllables are in Monoku.
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