What Is The World’s Longest Poem By A Single Person?


When you search the Internet for anything related to “The World’s Longest” you get a huge array of strange results pinging your way.   All of which is either very confusing or highly uninteresting.  Lets be honest here, anyone can make a claim to having the longest, shortest, fattest, thinnest, fastest or even slowest thing on the planet.  The Internet has millions upon millions of claims.

Now search for the longest poem in the world and you again you end up getting mixed messages.  Let me try to limit it down a little bit, what constitutes a poem being the longest?  Is it the number of words? Pages? or does it even have pages? Is it the world’s longest poem written on a single sheet of paper?  It is quite simply crazy to try to answer the question with any degree of accuracy unless there is just one criteria… The number of words is the simplest and easiest to understand format.

So I searched for the longest poem in the world and just looked for the sheer number of words each one has, I will also allow lines, only if it is not a stupid idea of a word a line :)

So first up and what many people believe to be The Longest Poem in the World is the Mahabharat, (or Mahabharata as it is known in English).  Written about 900 BC.  This very impressive piece of work is something in the region of 220,000 lines.  So as a guess I would estimate is to be around the 1,000,000 words.  It is written in the Sanskrit language, the ancient sacred language of India.  I do however have one fundamental problem with calling this The Longest Poem In The World, as it was written in 18 sections.  The oldest dating back to around 900 BC and other parts to later times of 500 AD.  So in theory unless it was written by a person around 1600 years old, this has not been written by a single person.  Although I would never disapprove of what a wonderful piece of writing the Mahabharat is. 

Also popping up on the Internet search were absurd things like, The Longest Poem In The World, written on Twitter.  A poem entitled, The Longest Poem In The World, where the writer talks about The Longest Poem In The World.  Both of these can be counted out of the equation really.

Then I came across The Blah Story, by Nigel Tomm.  A quite ingenious piece of poetry where he continues to explore possibilities of the modern English language.  Volume 8 consists of 98,728 words and spans 23,161 lines.   The way it was written is quite superb and you do find the words getting twisted in your mouth.  I really like what Nigel did and enjoyed reading it. 

There are many other example of great pieces of epic poetry, King Alfred which is 131,000 lines, but written by two people.  John Fitchett and later adding 2,585 lines was Robert Roscoe.  Search for great epic poems doesn’t give too many answers either as there is a list of 10 great poems

I do firmly believe that I have written The Worlds Longest Rhyming Couplet Poem In the English Language.  My book “The Jaw” is 101,723 words, 400,552 characters and 13,499 lines.  This is not just some random poems all put in one book and calling itself The Worlds Longest, this is a full-scale epic life story that follows charters throughout their life.  Each chapter forms part of the plot, with twist and turns in each, you will never quite understand how it is all going to unravel until the end.  It is a suspense thriller, a horror story, love and romance novel.  This book has pretty much everything and so much more than you would ever expect.  I am not just saying this myself, many of the people who have read The Jaw have also said the same.  

Here is some of my recent reviews:

 5.0 out of 5 stars Wow ! just wow !, 12 April 2011

By 
Mrs. V. Houghton “dinglevan” (Lancs, UK) -
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Jaw (Kindle Edition)

I`ve never read a novel that is in rhyme before and now i have i can`t believe just how clever it is. Apart from it having damn good story to it you marvel at how the author has managed to do poetry and the story as well. There`s so many twists and turns in it , things i never expected , which i`m not going into on here because it`ll ruin the story for anyone who buys it. 
Its left me wanting more , and i`m hoping the author writes some more books.

                                                                                     ——————————————————————–

Up to page 100!wow this is heavy!engrossing!read it on the Tube to work,strange sensation after getting off the tube,the rhythm of your words and possibly the sound of the Tube together, it was as if i had been listening to music on the Tube,i had the rhythm of your words in my head like a tune,strange,great stuff though cannot wait to get back to it!

The words written are loaded with a palpable emotion

This is the kind of poem that knocks the breath out of you. I felt both anxious and sad about the hopelessness I felt. Good job.

so beautiful, wow

Some pretty raw, intense stuff.

Sad, written so well! I could feel the terror, the pain and agony of the situation! The ending does tare at you! Real horror,

Congratulations on your feat! And may I say the design of the cover is extremely eye-catching too.

                                                                                 ———————————————————————–

I have this week been in touch with several publishers about taking on my work and pushing it onto the next level.  There is only so much you can do on your own.  So with a bit of  luck one of those may pull off.  Also I have recently started to write The Jaw Part II, which will bring the entire Jaw series up to 200,000 words.  Depending on how the first two editions go, there will possibly be a Part 3 and 4.  Kind of a Jaw Franchise :)

I would appreciate any comments on anything I written in this post.  If you have any information on what you believe to be “The Longest Rhyming or None Rhyming Poem In The World”  Then please get in touch, as it is always good to talk.

Much Love.  Katherine x

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About The Jaw K.A.Shaw

I am a writer from Manchester in the U.K. A writer who believes to have written the World's longest novel in the English language, written by a single person and in Rhyming Couplets. My book, The Jaw Revisited is over 100,000 words which span over 450 pages. Although in the literary world this is classified as poetry, I believe it is a fusion of Poetry, Art and Horror story telling. I do not pretend to be a literary genius, I just write from the heart and what comes naturally to me. No flowery words or phrases, I don't compare thee to a summer's day or anything like that. I write about true life drama, Science Fiction and with a weird imagination. Combine those three together and you get The Jaw Revisited, a no holds barred, straight to the point, dramatised, adventure through life.

Posted on July 9, 2011, in What Is The Worlds Longest Poem? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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