Friday, April 18, 2008

Six Word Memoirs by Various Authors

Six Word Memoirs

Three sons, eleven cats, and Yvonne.
Michael Govan

Foetus, son, brother, husband, father, vegetable.
Dick Hadfield

Conceived,implored, employed, adored, retired, ignored.
Joy MacKenzie

Slow lane. Fast lane. Hard shoulder.
Alex Hansen Today.

Bantam, Anglia, Midget, Alfa, Volvo Estate.
Neil Feldman.

Womb, Play, Learn, Work, Decline, Tomb.
Jacquie Smith

Start - programme - error - control - alt. - delete.

Battered ball-bearing traversing pinball machine.
Nancy Connolly

Unravelled career reknitted as baby blankets.
Clare Hobba

Started, farted, stood up, faced the wind.
Helen Eclair

Head in books, feet in flowers.
--Heather Thomson

Trust me, I did my best.
--Ray Kemp

An embroidered sampler, with some unpicking.
--Sian Martin

Dazed and confused? No. Existential angst.
--Chris Miles

I'm just happy to be here!
--Graham Marsh

Four Weddings, Three kids, then cancer.
--Gillian Johnson

Hasn't Been A Jane Austen Romance.
--Alexandra Lackey

Bored, so bored, so very bored.
--John Doyle

Run over twice, thankfully still alive.
--Trudi Evans

Aged child actress still seeking fame.

Married childhood sweetheart. Two kids. Content.
--Steve McMullen

Born London, lived elsewhere, died inside.

I heard about these six word life stories on the BBC World Service while driving to Grandma Holt's house after dropping Peter at the SLC airport at 4am in March. I thought it was a neat idea, and wondered what I would have sent in. Fairly quickly, I came up with what I think is a pretty good summary of my life so far:

Tried to be happy. Finally succeeded.

I think these are beautiful. Some are so sad. Others sound contented, like writing this helped the make peace and put their lives in perspective. While most are not intended to be "poetry" they have the simple elegance of well chosen words that is characteristic of the best poetry. I think, reading these, that I have a better understanding of Haiku. Here we have a very prescribed form, an extremely limited amount of space, trying to express something much larger and essentially inexpressible in the first place.

What's your six word life story?


  1. Karen, I love your six-word story, and I am so glad that IS your story. :-) I'll think about mine.

    Love, Kathey

  2. Here are six word short SF.
    Nov 2006 Wired Magazine

  3. "Did interesting stuff but became boring."

  4. "Came tall, big baby coming shortly."

    This is a fun idea!