Whittled Words – Minute 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:




Some forms have a long, exotic history. Some forms are relatively new but have a well-known founder. Others just seem to spring out of nowhere. Such appears to be the case with our most recent poetic form: the minute poem.

The rules are rather simple:


  • 3 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas)
  • 8 syllables in the first line of each stanza (4 iambic feet/iambic tetrameter)
  • 4 syllables in the remaining lines of each stanza (2 iambic feet)
  • rhyme scheme: aabb/ccdd/eeff
  • written in strict iambic meter


Each stanza contains 20 syllables, times 3 stanzas, equals 60 syllables total. Since there are 60 seconds in a minute, I’m going to go out on a limb and proclaim that’s the origin of the name Minute poem.



Examples of Minute Poems:



by Rita Renee Weatherbee


The world cast in bitter turmoil –
Masses recoil
Hatred astounds
Bashing surrounds.

The world spinning, lacking control,
Trenching a hole
Trash and berate.

The world whispers for Divine Peace
Loathing to cease
Halt repugnance
Love transcendence.



by Anthony94

Like liquid teak the river flows,
the wind that blows
has stirred the silt
as wavelets lilt

Like tiny ships; their whitened sails
dissolve, no trails
remain, just dregs
and splintered pegs

Now cast ashore like packrat’s home
Bare twigs can’t roam
From shore to float;
New anchored boats.



By Brad Osborne

The flowers bloom in rainbow hue

A wonderous view

Haunting fragrance

To which bees dance

And fluffy clouds pass by so slow

Cool winds do blow

Bird takes to wing

The heavens sing

What wonders doth she chosen share

Her charms so fair

The song of life

Her beauty rife



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 Minute poem. Thanks for reading!




37 Responses to “Whittled Words – Minute Poem”
  1. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Beautiful verses Brad! This section of Whittled Words is a fantastic learning experience! Thank you so much for bringing that knowledge to us. Your words, your ability to create such fantastic works of art, are enchanting and powerful. You truly are a very gifted writer with much to share and much to say. Take good care and all the best. Hope your Friday is just as sunny and fresh as is ours here in Valencia today! Have a great weekend!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, my dear friend! I learn a lot myself in finding and researching the different forms available to poetic expression, and can only hope that my readers find something new too. I can say that this series has helped at least one other writer to try their hand at poetry. Since then, their gift for verse has grown and the art they create within it has shone brightly. That is the greatest success any poet could ask for. It is not quite as sunny and beautiful here today, but I will bask in the lovely photos you share till it is! Have a great weekend full of sunshine, happiness, and filled with your creative muses.

  2. beth says:

    your poem is so happy and positive, thank you )

  3. Nima Mohan says:

    This is lovely Brad !! 🙂

  4. kristianw84 says:

    It amazes me how you continously write better poems than your other examples! 🤩 Mother nature is awesome! Although, I have to admit, I’m a little upset with her. Calling for snow this weekend! It’s friggin’ May!!

  5. blindzanygirl says:

    Wonderful. I have done mine on my blog 😊

  6. Matt P says:

    I didn’t know it is Friday until I saw this. That’s just messed up.

    Beautiful examples of the form. Let’s see what I can do.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      If it wasn’t for this and the ‘Tuesday Tidbits’ series, I wouldn’t know what day it is either, Matt! Keep that poetry coming, my friend!

      • Matt P says:

        It is funny but kind of not that I lose track of time. Anyway, I’m gonna start writing.

  7. Matt P says:

    Here’s mine, Brad:

    Sly demon; dark, grim past collides
    Rising of tides
    Face it? No, run!
    They won, I’d shun

    In the aftermath, the light grows
    Chasing rainbows
    Show up? No, hide!
    Shadows, not eyed

    Running, hiding, no escaping
    Past still haunting
    Cower? No more!
    It’s time I score

    How did I do? Because I’m not sure about iambic meter.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Iambic meter is simply that each foot (two syllables) are read as a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. As in “in the aftermath, the” and “demon”. It would be hard to pronounce “demon” with the stress on the second syllable.The first lines of first and second stanzas do not fit neatly into this meter, but do not become overly concerned about meter above all else. That is why we have “artistic license”. Conforming is not a requirement of beauty or art. What you have written is beautiful and powerful, and meeting some arbitrary meter will not change that.

      • Matt P says:

        Okay, thank you, Brad! I like it when my mistakes are being pointed out so I know what to improve. I guess I’m gonna have to study more about meters.

      • Brad Osborne says:

        I appreciate that you can take the criticism in the positive light in which it is given. I will always be honest with my opinion of your work, as anything less would be an injustice to anyone seeking the hone their craft. That being said, don’t get to caught up in meter in first draft. Let the thoughts and ideas flow. In edit and review, the wording can often be manipulated to fit meter requirements. Remember, you are a form blending rule breaker!

      • Matt P says:

        So I might just own it 😄. Thanks! ‘Write everything first, edit later.’ Got it!

  8. Jim Borden says:

    I like this style because of the basic rhyming and syllable patterns (you know I like patterns). Your poem does beautiful justice to this style, and you even snuck in some Shakespeare with “doth” 🙂

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I knew you would appreciate the Olde English, Jim! You academics love that kind of stuff..😁 I didn’t think of the obvious pattern it holds, but I get what you are saying about it now. The iambic meter also has a very lulling pattern of syllables. Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend!

  9. Oh, Brad I love this poem. I want to frame it. It is scented and it dances:

    “The flowers bloom in rainbow hue
    A wonderous view
    Haunting fragrance
    To which bees dance
    And fluffy clouds pass by so slow
    Cool winds do blow”

    Such a beautiful tribute to mother nature.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Minute poem. If you want to try this form, give Brad’s Whittled Words- Minute Poem a visit for the […]

  2. […] attempt at a Minute Poem. To know more about this form, read Brad’s Whittled Words – Minute Poem. Check out his other posts too, he’s simply […]

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