Whittled Words – Tautogram Poem



Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:




The tautogram is best explained by its Greek root words of “tauto” meaning “the same” and “gramma” meaning “letter”. Basically, all words in the poem begin with the same letter.

So, pick a letter–any letter–and get poeming!


Note: A variant form of this poem could employ a unique starting letter for each stanza.



Examples of Tautogram Poems:



by Candy


Crazy cat, cute, cuddly
Curiosity caused confusion
Candle collapsed
Charred carpet
Clear conclusion
Crazy cat cellar confined



By Taylor Graham

One owl on old oak
opens ocular orbs, observes,
offers obverse oratory:
ooooh – ooh ooh – ooooh.
Ode, omen or oracle?
Only one owl.



By Walter J. Wojtanik

Fake friends find forever fleeting,
Falling, failing, foundering.
First finely formed,
Flattering, fast faltering.
Former friends find fault,
Fiends, finally finished.



By Brad Osborne


Pretentious pilot pushes plane

Perilously precipitous

Past preferred performance


Pinot placated passengers

Pose practiced peace

Prepare platitudes


Purposeful pitch

Premeditated point

Psychotic plan


Propelled plunge

Professed penchant pleas

Problem piqued passing




I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Tautogram poem. Thanks for reading!




39 Responses to “Whittled Words – Tautogram Poem”
  1. Wonderful, I must give this a try!

  2. beth says:

    these are great! i may give this a try myself, thanks for the creative inspiration, brad

  3. yassy says:

    I want to do this.

  4. Jim Borden says:

    this looks like fun, and like many other of your readers, I may give this a try. I guess as long as it starts with the same letter, it does not matter if it makes the same sound; e.g., psychotic. Great job with your poem, seems quite challenging.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Yes, Jim, it is all about the letter. In fact, I think the non-standard phonetic use of a letter in the poem, like your example, is really the high end of the art. It is as fun as it is challenging. If you try it, I guarantee you will come up with some phrase in your heard that will make you laugh! Thanks, as always!

  5. WildHeart says:

    This is the toughest piece I’ve ever written. Most probably one of my worst creation. I’ll definitely create more poetry in this type. It’s so challenging, and that’s the fun part.
    Thank you so much Brad, for this. Here’s my attempt.

    Tom’s tale

    Teeny tiny Tom,
    Timid teenager,
    Trickster’s target.

    Torn, tired, teary,
    Testing toughest trajectories,
    Tumbling, toughening.

    Temptation’s training,
    Time’s teaching,
    Timid Tom toughened.

    Tom, the thief,
    Tom, the tease,
    Typical troubled teenager!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Shreya, I am not sure why you might think this is one of your worst creations. I think you did a wonderful job with the form. And you have a complete story being told within your poem. I like yours better than my attempts. Thanks you so much for your support and your posting your poem here. Stay well, stay safe, and keep writing! Much love! ❤

      • WildHeart says:

        Usually when I write, I think of an emotion. While I wrote this I was just jotting down all the words that start with ‘T’ and putting it together. I just felt that it lacked emotion.
        Thank you so much for your appreciation and whittled words series. You’ve been such a huge motivation for me. ❤️🙈
        Loads of love. ❤️❤️❤️💛💕💕

      • Brad Osborne says:

        Not every poem has to be the heart-rending emotional journey we see as so powerful and prominent. Sometimes are art is silly, funny, and irreverent. You poem tells a story and makes people think, that is alone enough to make it so worthwhile. Keep writing! 😘🤗🥰❤💕🍌🐵

      • WildHeart says:

        Thank you for always motivating me. You’re such an inspiration. ❤️

  6. https://wp.me/pa6y38-po
    hey there check this of mine, I hope you like it too.
    Be back baboon!
    Behave, beget boon.
    Bestow bow, briars.
    Becoming below broom.

    Bet bit by beats,
    Bite Banana, berries.
    Buy basket, brace back.
    Begone bandage, beasts.

    Blubber begone, blight?
    Blabbers bleat behind.
    Byon beseecher backings.
    Boy board blanking.

    Belongings belonged buoyed.
    Bopeep basin, berimes.
    Beauty brought betters.
    Brine beloved bears.

    -Rishabh kumar

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Rishabh, this is a wonderful example of the form. Entertaining and witty. Silly in moments. Well done! Thank you for reading and sharing your work!

      • Thank you so much brad, it was really interesting for me, i often think of a massege i give to person to be motivated and learn new things, it made me really go through dictionary and learn about different words, Well i wont say it was full of emotions but yet i tried to .Really your challenge was so aspiring. Thank you. 🥰💕❣️❣️❣️

      • Brad Osborne says:

        It is my pleasure, Rishabh! I hope you will never lose your desire to speak and be heard. Writing can be a gift, but only if you give it away! Best wishes! ❤

  7. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Great! And I imagine a great way to get the brain going and ideas flowing…wonderful work Brad! Thank you!

  8. hcmorris77 says:

    Reblogged this on Holly'sWorld and commented:
    I’ve heard of this kind of poetry before and even dabbled in it before, but we called it something else…I can’t remember.
    Will probably be seeing some of this from me!

  9. These are all great exercises for the creative brain, and great fun, but are they really of any artistic merit vis a vis serious poetry? I’m serious and will welcome any serious reply. 🙂

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I think there is value to knowing and trying every style of poetry we can find. Although you may find a tautogram difficult to try to write about a serious subject, it does allow you to practice the technique of alliteration which finds its way into most poetry. Thank you for your question and interest!

      • Indeed. Al great art is done standing on the shoulders of those great artists who preceded them. But, being 77 and having my earliest introduction to Poesy being Ferlinghetti and E.E. Cummings — trying to stuff verse into structure is still grating to me. And there’s a difference between “verse” and “poetry” as well, IMHO. Although I satisfied all the unit-requirements for a BA in Creative Writing at SFState back in the early 60s my own poetry is rather loose. I do what sounds right, what resonates with me. You’ll notice many of my poems shift from strict meter and rhyme to free-form with no warning. 🙂 I think “louis xvi” is an example. Cheers! VMK

      • Brad Osborne says:

        Thank you Vernon! I am all for coloring outside the lines

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] attempt at a Tautogram Poem. Thank you so much Brad for introducing me to this style. It’s the toughest poem I’ve […]

  2. […] poem. I’ve encountered it in Brad’s post, Whittled Words- Tautogram Poem. I’ve also seen Shreya did Tom’s Tale– a tautogram poem. So, why not give it a […]

  3. […] Tautogram Poem. Light, silly. Not so serious subject this […]

  4. […] to see more “fun with words”, click hereI got this “idea” from Brad Osborne…you can see more examples here […]

  5. […] it was that a few weeks ago Brad introduced tautogram poems. A tautogram poem is best explained by its Greek root words of “tauto” meaning “the same” […]

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