Whittled Words – Monotetra 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 Monotetra is a poetic form developed by Michael Walker. Here are the basic rules:

  • Comprised of quatrains (four-line stanzas) in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of 8 syllables per line
  • Each quatrain consists of mono-rhymed lines (so each line in the first stanza has the same type of rhyme, as does each line in the second stanza, etc.)
  • The final line of each stanza repeats the same four syllables
  • This poem can be as short as one quatrain and as long as the poet wishes

Personally, I like the rhyme scheme and the repetitive final line of each stanza. I also appreciate the flexibility of this form in terms of how long or short the poem can be.


Examples of Monotetra Poems:




By Robert Lee Brewer

We found a rock on the hilltop
that we used as reason to stop
and talk about our school’s sock hop–
where music pops, where music pops.

She told me I should learn to dance,
but I was concerned with romance
and wanted to make an advance–
she said, “No chance;” she said, “No chance.”



By Lawrencealot

My gramp brought me a valentine.
To give to mommy and it’s just fine.
I’m four years old and it’s all mine.
A valentine. A valentine.

It’s got a heart and teddy bear
To show my mom how much I care.
A tiny voice came from nowhere,
“I’ve got no flair.” “I’ve got no flair.”

Somehow that card said words to me.
“I’m not as fine as I can be.
I need more personality”
that she can see, that she can see.”

“With your help lad, I’ll be much more.
I’ll be a card that she’ll adore.”
I’ll not be common anymore!
Accept this chore.  Accept this chore.”

With a crayon I wrote just “my”
before “Mom”.   She is my own, that’s why.
I signed Tommy then heard card sigh.
I don’t know why, I don’t know why.

The card she’s kept for all this time.
A priceless card that cost a dime.
Mom says I made the value climb
with my first rhyme, with my first rhyme.



By Brad Osborne



We venture into this dark night

With wounded hearts and withered sight

Where shadows hold the greater might

Where is the light, where is the light

There upon blackish, brackish ground

Practiced feet move without a sound

We sense the evil all around

Bravery found, bravery found

Who can hold back the ebony

The snare that steals a sense of free

Not found in “I”, not found in “me”

No one but we, no one but we

Now take my hand as offered so

Together we can make dawn glow

And as the light around us grows

I won’t let go, I won’t let go


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 Monotetra poem. Thanks for reading!


14 Responses to “Whittled Words – Monotetra Poem”
  1. Secrets says:

    Brad this was so great! I really enjoyed your explanation as well as the examples you provided. I loved your “Together” Monotetra! You may just attempt one of these soon.

  2. beth says:

    the first one really made me laugh!

  3. kristianw84 says:

    I really enjoyed this form. And your poem was far greater than the others! 😘😘 Exquisite.

  4. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Excellent example of an interesting and very expressive style. I like the mood of the poem and the images you’ve created especially of walking through the mud and uncertain ground in the dark of night. Takes my mind back to places I had long forgotten. All the best to you my brother!

  5. Jim Borden says:

    I like this style as well; I wonder what motivates a poet to come up with their own unique style?

    I like the message of teamwork from your poem. we are so much more powerful when we work together.

    and I agree with Beth, the first one is quite humorous 🙂

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I would assume the attempt to create an original style comes from simply pushing the limits of what is known. A desperate need to be challenged maybe. I liked the form too. It was fun and challenging. Robert Brewer is the “poet in residence” for Writer’s Digest. He does have a fabulous way of tying humor into his works. Thanks for all the support, Q!

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