Poets logo

A Broken Telephone

A Poem on Communication

By Michelle LiewPublished about a month ago 1 min read
A Broken Telephone
Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

One of my favourite childhood games was one my classmates fondly termed 'Broken Telephone.' The game entailed passing a message to people in a line until the last person received it. The last person usually received a distorted version of the message. 

Broken Telephone may have been a childhood game, but it stresses clear communication. Distorted messages have the effect of causing misunderstandings, damaging relationships and sometimes, missed opportunities. 

Winning the game of Broken Telephone requires active listening. Speak using simple language and provide enough context for listeners to intepret situations appropriately. It may be helpful to ask what a person understands from the message given. 

Telephone lines don't have to be broken. Enjoy these senryus. 

Broken telephone 

It cannot send out signals

One must speak clearly

Broken telephone

Simple messages sent through

Heard clearly by ear

Broken telephone 

Must speak enough of one's mind

For understanding

Broken telephone

Must repeat the message heard

For knowledge of all


About the Creator

Michelle Liew

Hi, i am an English Language teacher cum freelance writer with a taste for pets, prose and poetry. When I'm not writing my heart out, I'm playing with my three dogs, Zorra, Cloudy and Snowball.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (4)

Sign in to comment
  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    It was a fun game as a kid though that was so long ago I barely remember it. Clear communication is needed especially now with so many things happening g all at once in the world!

  • Esala Gunathilakeabout a month ago

    Sweet memories of the childhood!

  • ROCK about a month ago

    I used to play this game at sleepovers. It was never correct when it reached the end person. I am just learning about this form of poetry; yours was s great example. Are you a teacher in English? I often wonder why I was never taught about different forms of poetry other than haikus. Listening is an art form. Informative and clever topic!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Yes, not listening clearly would definitely distort the meaning of what is being conveyed. Loved your poem!

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.