Whittled Words – Chanso 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:




Chanso poems are adaptable to the needs of the poet. This French form consists of five or six stanzas with an envoy that is roughly half the size of a regular stanza. So, what is a regular stanza?

That depends on what the poet decides. The main rules are that each line of the poem should have the same number of syllables, and each stanza should be uniform when it comes to length and rhyme scheme. Beyond that, the poet has final say.

Thus a chanso could consist of 5 tercets followed by a couplet written with an abc rhyme scheme for each line; or it could be 6 12-line stanzas with an intricate rhyme scheme that is halved to a 6-line envoy. For my example below, I went with simple quatrains.


Examples of Chanso Poems:



By Ronovan

I search and spy you from across the room.
At first sight, I felt my heart burst in bloom.
My thoughts race to islands of blue waters
And for just a moment my vision blurs.

I touch your dress and feel the electric.
In this moment I know you’re the right pick.
I grip you in my hands, oh how perfect.
You hold my attention, firm, and direct.

You open to me, no fear to reveal.
Fragile as glass or hard as tungsten steel.
The lure of the first moments of delight.
No doubt about it, it’s love at first sight.

Your voice just for me, soft as a whisper,
Drawing me in and cause visions to stir.
Telling me what you plan to give to me,
Every single thought I can’t help but agree.

My eyes thrill to follow your every line
Making the moon rise and the stars to shine.
My mind explodes… the things to do with you,
and oh… the smile on my face when we’re through.

Took you home quick… opened your cover too.
Turn those pages for a whodunit clue.



By Robert Lee Brewer

With all the things I have been through,
I thought it must be obvious–
the odds good you already knew–
like R2 I’ve grown mischievous

and abandoned Jedi and Sith
for a vacay with my Ewoks,
who love to hear me spin a myth
and always listen when I talk.

Not that I hate on Master Luke,
though I could do without that Han,
who’s quick to give a tough rebuke
every time things don’t go to plan.

It’s just I don’t like being shot
or getting pulled into pieces.
After all, I’m not a robot
when I’ve got telekinesis,

or at least, that’s what Ewoks think
as they sing “yub-yub” on their moon,
which was once on the very brink
of the Empire’s galactic doom.

So look and you’ll find me no more:
I’ll be the droid you’re looking for.



By Brad Osborne

Like an old wind-up phonograph

That yields unperfected sound

Or the misspelling on an epitaph

Carved in stone stuck in the ground

Like a dark stain upon white linen

That no scrubbing can remove

Or the fearful thoughts found spinning

Needing something more to prove

Like the sun-faded memories

Turned to sepia in our head

Or our own perceived tragedies

Found in where our life has led

Like the rotting grape that hangs

Amid the most sweet of fruit

Or the hidden killing fangs

That long to eat our truth

Like a road that leads into sunset

On an unpaved and buckboard ride

Our lives will hold imperfections

No matter how hard we tried

Seek not life in perfection

More important, seek direction


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 Chanso poem. Thanks for reading!


17 Responses to “Whittled Words – Chanso Poem”
  1. kristianw84 says:

    I loved all of these poems, but especially yours! It mentions so many of my favorite things! I also love the title. I tend to love things that show imperfection. It’s those little imperfections that make someone or something beautiful. The media can have keep their perfectly airbrushed things and people, I’d rather have something real!

    Beautifully expressed!

  2. kristianw84 says:

    That should say the media can keep, not have keep…

    Runs to grab more coffee!

  3. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Really enjoyed this style! Your example was truly fab! Smashing good my friend!

  4. Something compelling in all three examples. Loved the mystery in first entry but you struck a real chord with Imperfectly Perfect

  5. Jim Borden says:

    love your closing two lines! and I always appreciate the simple rhyming schemes…

  6. jonicaggiano says:

    Great style and I have to agree with Kristian’s comment too. I quit buying magazines because I got so tired of looking at bone thin models which help create sick young girls. I did love the way the first poem ended. I always end up liking your example the best. I enjoyed the flow of your piece more than the others.

    “Like the rotting grape that hangs
    Amid the most sweet of fruit
    Or the hidden killing fangs
    That long to eat our truth”

    These are some great lines Brad. Hugs and love, always sending blessings your way, Jonikins

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