Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Epigram

Julie Rowan-Zoch
E is for Epigram. Today, illustrator and writer Julie Rowan-Zoch, has provided us with another lovely illustration. Thanks Julie!

I hope you brought your wit with you today because you are going to need it! An epigram dating back to ancient Greece, "is a short, pithy saying, usually in verse, often with a quick, satirical twist at the end" (Poet' You can often find these types of poems in greeting cards. They can be inspiring, playful, or downright wicked. 

What is an Epigram? A dwarfish whole;
Its body brevity, and wit its soul.
   — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
  —Oscar Wilde

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
    —Virginia Woolf

Epigrams are typically two lines, but can be much longer. To create an epigram brainstorm a list of themes (friendship, relationships, death etc.). Is there something you find funny in your list of themes or is there an issue you would like to make a social comment on? Use this create an epigram. 

--Write an epigram poem or
--Using the illustrations above as a prompt, write a poem about empathy. 

Feel free to share your poem in the comments below, on your blog (leave a link in the comments), or on the poetry Facebook page.

--To learn more about Epigrams click here

If you liked this post please let others know. Tomorrow I'll be talking about my favourite type of poem –free verse. I hope you come back for that. 

Julie Rowan-Zoch is a graphic designer morphed by motherhood into a super-volunteer, spun into a pre-pubbie cocoon, soon to emerge writer and illustrator of children’s books! To learn more about Julie check out her fabulous blog by clicking here, or find her on Facebook by clicking here. Stay tuned to see more illustrations from Julie. 


  1. This is fun, Rena and Julie. I am learning so much! Cento and epigram and trisyllabic meter! I am loving it. Thanks!
    Here is my poem for today. (By the way...I love that an epigram is typically two lines! Nice to have a short one!)

  2. Oops forgot the link

  3. Wow, that sounds really hard. I'll see what I can do. This is fantastic Rena, you've done an awesome job!

  4. I agree, wonderful job Rena. I'm learning a lot. Thanks for having this challenge :)

    1. Here is my epigram poem:

      Each Leaf

      Some people leave a mark
      on trucks of trees.
      The famous leave their mark
      on all the leaves.

    2. Thanks. Your poem made me pause for a moment to think. Great job!

  5. Really great, Jennifer! Lots of food for thought. That could definitely be on a card.

  6. Thank you so much for explaining what an epigram is! There is a line in the book Anne of Windy Poplars (I think that's the book it's in) in which Anne says that she went for a walk and "thought up so many epigrams" that she was quite pleased with herself. I never paused in my reading to look epigram up in the dictionary, just wondered exactly what it was. Now I know.

    The wise ask 'why?' and seek the answer.
    The rest wait to be told -- and are late to learn.

  7. Epigrams seem like they should be simple to write, but they really are not! I couldn't come up with a good one, so I've put "epigrams," on my list of "fun things that I want to write!" :)

  8. Wow, Rena, you've come up with some interesting challenges! I'm off to post my Epigram!

  9. The first hundred years are the hardest! ACK! I tried. But this is filling food for thought. Thanks so much. *waving*


Thanks for your comments. Remember to keep them kid friendly.