I’m Good at Last Lines

I’m good at last lines. I really am.

The rest of my poems are crap but my last lines

Are really something.

I’m thinking of bringing out a book called ‘My Fifty Best Last Lines’.

The trouble is it’d be like bringing out a book of punch lines without the jokes.

‘By gum, I wish I could do that’ or ‘It’s okay for you two. I have to walk out by myself’ fall a bit flat without the jokes attached.

I suppose I could make the rest of the poems as good as the last lines but it’s a pretty big ask.

Now I can’t even get a good last line to this poem.

32 thoughts on “I’m Good at Last Lines

  1. Last lines are definitely key, I think. Until I have found a good last line, the poem just feels like an unfinished sentence. So I think, to be good at last lines is a pretty awesome talent. But I think all writers have favourite lines in their poems and wonder if they could chuck out the rest. But you can’t. You need the rest. It’s like… it’s like how they put medicine in capsules. The whole capsule isn’t the medicine but the capsule makes the medicine easier to take. Or saying “Oh these containers are a waste of space on this ship. We’ll just carry the goods that are in them and do away with all those heavy metal boxes”. It would be a) chaotic and b) everything would probably get damaged.


  2. I used to have ambitions — talk about bucket lists — of being a stand-up comedian but I was no good at remembering lines — I still don’t know how they do it — so turned to writing instead 🙂


  3. I’d say you jinxed it but it’s kinda the perfect last line for this poem. Can’t say what I’d like to perfect more the first of the last. Guess the first has got to have something or they’ll never make it to the last. Lots of fun, John, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know your last lines are well-written. I have been reading them for several weeks. To me once I have the last line in a chapter or book or blog done right, the rest of the work just takes anything from a meat axe to a tiny scissors to edit. The last line, if done well, motivates me for that editing.


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