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Poem for the occasion of Tony Blair's last day as PM (26 June 2007)

Robin Vaughan-Williams | 25.06.2007 12:14 | Culture | Other Press | Sheffield

I love Tony Blair because...
he's here today, gone tomorrow.

This is an example of 10-or-less, a new junk poetry genre launched at Sheffield's Spoken Word Antics last month. Based on a marketing technique commonly used in 1980s junk mail, the rules of 10-or-less (perhaps properly know as the tiebreaker competition) are simple: think of something, say you love it, and finish in ten words or less.

10-or-less was developed in response to the lack of a truly democratic, innately relevant, and undemanding poetic mini-genre for the 21st century. 10-or-less is the perfect way for the multi-tasking modern individual to get in touch with his/her creative self and still have time to juggle multiple jobs, commitments, and partners. Who's got time to write a proper poem these days? Even a haiku can be a bit of a struggle sometimes. But you can dash off 10-or-less in just a few moments — everybody's got it in them! And because of its origin as a marketing technique, 10-or-less usually end up saying something about the commercial world we live in too.

So if you've been trying to discover how strictly defined formal criteria can unleash your creative potential, but just end up feeling like you're banging your head against a brick wall, this could be right up your street. Send any 10-or-less in to You can see examples other people have written on the Spoken Word Antics website:

I love self-adhesive stamps because...
I don't have to lick the Queen's backside.
by Paul Ottaway

I love bras because...
I need all the support I can get.
by Ruth Grimsley

Robin Vaughan-Williams
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Hide the following 2 comments

more than ten

25.06.2007 13:04

Believe love is a prison, don't bother with freedom

save your productivity for the profit system

whose got time these days for thinking

better trust in the industry of advertising

It will formulate your commodified dreaming

into neat and disposable packets of ten

no need to worry about an awkward disjunction

mechanised poems will ensure your smooth function


its actually wednesday

25.06.2007 14:05

its actually wednesday 27th june 2007 that blair steps down.i wrote it in my diary several weeks if you go out onto the streets to celebrate you will be a day too early and on your own unless you are buying the drinks thats is.