The minute is a syllable-count poem with 12 iambic lines and couplet rhyme (aa, bb, cc, dd, ee, ff). Count per line is as follows: 8-4-4-4-8-4-4-4-8-4-4-4, for a total of 60 syllables, the number of seconds in a minute. The message of the poem is supposed to capture a moment in time.
The minute was created by Verna Lee Hinegardner, former Poet Laureate of Arkansas.
Example by Mary Harper Sowell:
I stood and raised my rifle high
as he walked by.
He paused to drink
at water's brink.
He stood erect and sniffed the air--
and saw me there.
I held my breath
as still as death.
But when he stared with frightened eyes,
to my surprise,
I waslked away--
and let him stay.