Why I do not tend to favor one-word titles

At times, I do use one-word titles for poems.  I do.  But I am a bit hesitant to do so, for a few reasons.

For one, one-word titles for poems are plentiful, and some words are used plentifully.  “Nocturne” would be an example of this.  (Which, I admit, I titled a poem some years ago.)

If I use an often-used single word for a title, is that the best choice I can make?  Am I giving a well-read reader something curious or cliché?  In this case, unless I intend some form of homage, I do not think it is the best choice.  I respect the choice to engage in a tradition or allusion, but I worry the power of allusion and tradition are over-estimated and/or limiting (reader thinking: “So here’s another ‘___’ poem/poem referring to ___.  So what?”  This is why I would favor emphasis on any ways a tradition or allusion is turned on its head; perhaps this emphasis could be in the title).

On a similar note, a one-word title might be a sort of unintended homage.  One-word titles are more likely to have been used before (as opposed to more complex titles); thus, writing a one-word title is more likely to seem to be a reference to another work—a layer that may or may not be better off avoided.

And on yet another similar note, your one-word title might make future same one-word titles by others seem to be a homage to yours.  Perhaps this seems like too much concern for a hypothetical regarding the future, but there is no harm in conjecturing in future consequences.  In a way, what my thought is is: in making this a one-word title, am I fine with sort of “claiming” this word?  For this reason, a more complex title could be sought so that the “claiming” of each word is more diffused, as the title is viewed as a unit; thus, the value of each word in the title is equally shared and the value is in the words together as a whole.

Also, using one word for a title can be a lost opportunity; if you can say more or make the title more intriguing, why not do so?

That said, I can understand why you may want to use a one-word title.  Maybe that word is a unique word (perhaps even manipulated by punctuation or you created it yourself).  Maybe the form of the poem is unusual, so you want to counter the unusualness with a simple title (in a manuscript of prose poems, I decided an emphasis on one-word titles would be a nice complement to a paragraph of words).

Please see Thoughts on titles if you want to see more on this topic.