Why No Titles?


Why do your poems not have any titles? I've heard this question with enough frequency that I thought I'd address it here.

Far from being titleless, all of the poems that I've written (which can be found here) have titles. The titles just happen to be numbers - more of a unique identifier or ID.

I started my poetry career/experiment by writing haiku. Because haiku are 3 lines, an additional title using words would become 1/4th of the poem, which didn't make much sense to me. In other words, I feel the work or the poem itself is the body of the poem and not the title.

Also, the text of titles is more difficult to make original compared to the content of the body of poems. I have, for example, read different poems that have the same titles before.

I also knew that Dickinson and some others did not use titles, and they turned out just fine. In fact, their titles ended up being numbers or future readers just assigned a title based on the first line, or a memorable line, of their poems.

Also, titles are often simply an artifact of publishing industry requirements.

Not using titles also matches my workflow and website format well. The HTML names and random sampling of poems work best using numbers as titles, and all titles are guaranteed to be as unique as possible. Also, readers and myself can assess my quantity just by looking at the titles.

There are some good things about word titles, of course. Such titles can add some depth or background to a poem, or make it more memorable because we seem to connect more with words than numbers.

Thanks for reading.

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