This Poem Has No Title

by Iain James Robb


...Or perhaps it has;

It depends which way you look at it.

Perhaps the reader may cite laziness

As my reason for not titling this

Any other than I would have done

As now, with such a title

As it has, since for some reason

I never gave it one.


“Alas”, you sigh, “You lie, your little poem has a title”;

It's called ‘This Poem Has No Title'.

This is true, but do observe

That it is actually the poem's first ‘verse'

(Meaning ‘line', not meaning ‘stanza').

Do I presume to waste your time

With such a trifling dissertation,

On the nature of things existent

In a state of frippery?


Do I presume to waste my own time here?

Well, how can I presume to?

One can't presume against one's self

Except unconsciously:

If someone knows not their own mind.

I am not that kind of masochist,

Or at least don't want to be one.

“Whatever is the reason

Mr Iain James Robb is doing this?”,

I think I hear you question,

If at least you do not groan.


Well, a word is a word is a word is a word:

Things just require appellations

As far as discourse or as art's concerned.

Nothing living other

Than our selves, or others' selves concerned

In us, require a title.

Nothing dead or not having

Lived yet does;

Both grass and dust, or bough or bird,

Resist their appellations.

Perhaps a poem can function just as those

Without a purpose

For semantics.

I offer you this voiceless thing

That you may take or turn it down.


Perhaps I lied and always meant

The poem's first line

To be its title.

I shall leave you to be the judge of that

Or whether I meant meaning,

Since perhaps the thing is meaningless;

I'll give a hint, it has a title,

And I'll even offer hints at it

If you look hard enough...


Those last three periods are the

Clues you need;

I need a cup of coffee soon.