Going Out With A Bang: My Top 10 Final Lines in Poetry

Natalie Ann Holborow

We talk a lot about our favourite opening lines in literature, but for me there’s something quite laudable about the delivery of a killer final line when it comes to poetry.

As poets, we must seek to ensure that every word is necessary. Every word and punctuation mark must have earned its place. Unlike fiction, where the necessity is defined by the scene or dialogue’s role in advancing the plot, poetry has a more laser-like focus. We remember standout images and lines in poetry until they become recital. For example, think of your own favourite poem. How much of it do you remember word-for-word? A well-written poem leaves an impression that sears while taking up minimal space.

It’s all too easy to become carried away with our own creations, particularly at the start of our writing journeys. I was a self-confessed sucker for unusual adjectives. I eschewed alliteration or fanciful…

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