Whittled Words – Biolet 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:




I learned of the biolet from another poet’s blog, Paul’s Poetry Playground, and offer the definition, history, and his helpful advice in his own wonderfully written words:

“The biolet was invented by the Brazilian poet Filinto de Almeida and first appeared in print in his book Lyrica in 1887. It is a six line poem, and like the triolet, the first two lines are repeated as the last two lines, however in reverse. The rhyme scheme of the biolet thus can be expressed as ABbaBA (with the capital letters representing the repeated lines). The length of the lines, in my opinion, can vary, and be either metered or unmetered. Most of Almeida’s original biolets in Portuguese (I have only found a handful written in English on the internet) were in iambic tetrameter (8 syllables), but I, myself, have also been playing with iambic pentameter (10 syllables), iambic hexameter (12 syllables), and unmetered lines of random lengths as well.”


“I feel the key to writing a biolet is coming up with the first two lines, and then reading them in reverse. If they still make sense in the reverse order, creating the two remaining two lines of the poem should be a snap. If they don’t, try altering them until they do, or start fresh with two brand new lines. Writing biolets can be very fun, and quite easy to do. The subject matter can be almost anything, and the tone can be either humorous or serious. I hope my following examples might inspire you to write some biolets of your own:”

I have included many examples of Paul’s poetry, and you can see many more poems and styles on his blog.


Examples of Biolet Poems:



Final Warning

By Paul Szlosek

On an old gravestone, carved in slate,
I read this menacing epitaph
warning of our Creator’s endless wrath
and all humanity ‘s eventual fate.
I read this menacing epitaph
on an old gravestone, carved in slate.


A Biolet for Those Who Cannot Sing

 By Paul Szlosek

In his unrequited ardor for Fay Wray,
I always empathized with old King Kong.
Since he could not express his love in song,
he had to show his passion in another way.
I always empathized with old King Kong
In his unrequited ardor for Fay Wray.


Biolet for the End of Day

By Paul Szlosek

Each night, when darkness descends like a curtain,
I light a single candle and start to pray.
Yes, tomorrow will be another day,
but of only that I can be certain.
I light a single candle and start to pray
each night, when darkness descends like a curtain.


A Frozen Memory

By Paul Szlosek

On a chilly afternoon in late November,
I stood at a kitchen window and watched it snow,
And although that was over fifty years ago,
For some unknown reason I can still remember
I stood at a kitchen window and watched it snow
On a chilly afternoon in late November.



A Long Goodnight

 By Brad Osborne


We stop to kiss the moon a long goodnight

As dawn is haste and we must say goodbye

The stars that twinkle in your loving eyes

Your warm embrace that holds my heart tight

As dawn is haste and we must say goodbye

We stop to kiss the moon a long goodnight


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 Biolet poem. Thanks for reading!

23 Responses to “Whittled Words – Biolet Poem”
  1. I really like the lilt of this type of poem! I enjoyed them all (but yours the best, of course!).

  2. beth says:

    I love this style. yesterday, I wrote a color poem at school with my kinder and we began and ended with the same one word, purple.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      What a joy it must be to watch those creative young minds work. Our Longfellows and Whitmans of tomorrow are in the classroom today. Thank you, Beth! Just the thought warms my heart.

      • beth says:

        it is always an amazing thing to see, as they begin to get excited about it and gain a bit of understanding. poetry is an open field, ready to nurture their expressions in any form.

  3. kristianw84 says:

    I really like this form, and your poem is the best!

  4. A very beautiful style for sure, a little complex but which leads to great writing, as you have shown us with the examples. Great work my friend!

  5. Shashi says:

    Thanks for the info and the treasure of violets. Tempted to try to write one.

  6. yassy says:

    I love your take on the biolet.. beautiful!!!

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    Biolet—my new word for the day. Have a good weekend, Brad!

  8. Jim Borden says:

    a fun and creative style of poem – well done, Brad!

  9. I did not realize how many posts I missed this week. Your output is all the more impressive when read in one sitting.

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  1. […] Whittled Words – Biolet Poem […]

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