Whittled Words – Echo 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:






After a few weeks of forms with multiple requirements to meet the style, I thought something a little more straight-forward would be appreciated. Unlike many of the poetic forms we examine on this blog, echo verse has a one fairly simple rule: Repeat the end syllable(s) of each line. No other rules.

There are a number of ways to do this: Repeat the ending syllable(s) at the end of the same line (as in ‘Heart’s Echo’); or repeat the ending syllable(s) on its own line directly beneath each line (as in ‘A Gentle Echo on Woman’ , which looks a little strange because the author denotes the speaker at the start of each line). In my own variant example, I have tried to incorporate as many homonyms as possible for the repeated syllable. So, with the one rule of the form, there is no limit on creativity to achieve that requirement.




Examples of Echo Poems:




by Matt P


Up where the stars; ours
All the space’s your eye; aye!
Come eternal winters; tears
Your serenity blocked; locked
Through my pane; pain
Weeping in despair; spare

In this scribbled universe; verse
Stars’ array I rewrite, right?
Woe deepen; pen
Flowing ink spilt; felt
Promises, sworn; worn
Infinity? Ne’er; ne’er

Worlds apart; part
Now, take my heart- art



By Jonathan Swift


Shepherd. Echo, I ween, will in the woods reply,
And quaintly answer questions. Shall I try?
Echo. Try.
Shepherd. What must we do our passion to express?
Echo. Press.
Shepherd. How shall I please her, who ne’er loved before?
Echo. Before.
Shepherd. What most moves women when we them address?
Echo. A dress.
Shepherd. Say, what can keep her chaste whom I adore?
Echo. A door.
Shepherd. If music softens rocks, love tunes my lyre.
Echo. Liar.
Shepherd. Then teach me, Echo, how shall I come by her?
Echo. Buy her.
Shepherd. When bought, no question I shall be her dear?
Echo. Her deer.
Shepherd. But deer have horns: how must I keep her under?
Echo. Keep her under.
Shepherd. But what can glad me when she’s laid on bier?
Echo. Beer.
Shepherd. What must I do when women will be kind?
Echo. Be kind.
Shepherd. What must I do when women will be cross?
Echo. Be cross.
Shepherd. Lord, what is she that can so turn and wind?
Echo. Wind.
Shepherd. If she be wind, what stills her when she blows?
Echo. Blows.
Shepherd. But if she bang again, still should I bang her?
Echo. Bang her.
Shepherd. Is there no way to moderate her anger?
Echo. Hang her.
Shepherd. Thanks, gentle Echo! Right thy answers tell
What woman is, and how to guard her well.
Echo. Guard her well.



By Brad Osborne


In simple things that we all know, no

greater gift can add to the scene, seen

for the wonder that it bestows, stows

magic in the in between, ween

the child from the common hue, hew

the lumber that limits course, coarse

the rasp as it bears the new, knew

I not the fair and lovely one, won

by the words that others hear, here

lies the hope of a better peace, piece

together that on which you prey, pray

with your hopes ceasing never, ever



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 Echo poem. Thanks for reading!




15 Responses to “Whittled Words – Echo Poem”
  1. beth says:

    this is such an interesting form and really takes some creative thinking!

  2. DC Gilbert says:

    Interesting! I am not sure I was even aware of this form.

  3. kristianw84 says:

    Exquisite!! ❤❤❤

  4. jonicaggiano says:

    Once again you have truly taught me something I have never heard of and surpassed the other authors with your version of “The Echo Poem.”
    This seems difficult to me would really take some serious work for me. You made it look so easy Brad with your lovely piece. Beautiful.
    Thank you my friend and sending you love, sunshine and wild flowers.

  5. Oh, I love your poem Brad.
    “I not the fair and lovely one, won
    by the words that others hear, here
    lies the hope of a better peace, piece
    together that on which you prey, pray
    with your hopes ceasing never, ever”
    Have a fabulous weekend!

  6. Jim Borden says:

    Even though you make it sound relatively straightforward – it looks quite challenging. Another great job, Brad!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: