Whittled Words – Diminishing Verse 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:




Diminishing verse offers no origin and very few rules, but I enjoyed writing my example below. In fact, the main rule is this: Remove the first letter of the end word in the previous line.

For example:

Line 1 ends with the word “grad”

And line 2 ends “rad”

Then, line 3 ends “ad”

Note: There are no rules for rhymes, syllables, poem length, stanza length, etc. Just a simple removal of a letter. That said, poets can also remove sounds if they wish like “braille” to “rail” to “ale.”


Examples of Diminishing Verse Poems:



by Karen


Gorgeous blue eyes blink
Somehow two hearts link
Love letters written with disappearing ink



By PressOn

Pat would often get into a spat,
but the spattee usually got the best of Pat.
Fighting wasn’t where his ken was at
but arguing? Ah, that fit him to a T.



By Tracy Davidson

I have enough on my plate
without the doctor running late,
I can’t remember when last I ate.

My unbalanced diet he’ll likely scold,
say it’s partly why I’m always cold,
that I’m not knackered yet, just getting old.



By De Jackson


Free-falling loose like scattered stones,
we play the earth in unquiet tones.
Grounded, we’re the lucky ones.

While this stung starlight has its charms,
sorrow more than hurts; it harms.
We need a sky with open arms.




By Brad Osborne

The yarns I had heard had become rather stale

But the Captain spoke of a wonderous tale

And would be obliged if I shared of my ale

Since the detail he gave was ever so sparse

And the truth of his words, so hard to parse

I thought he must be talking out of his arse

I slid him a tankard and as story crowed

He told of all the days for which he had rowed

In search of the maiden’s love that he was owed

I laughed so hard at his tale, I slightly shat

Offered more ale and a tip of my hat

Headed home, where my clean underwear were at


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 Diminishing Verse poem. Thanks for reading!


8 Responses to “Whittled Words – Diminishing Verse Poem”
  1. beth says:

    loved your hilarious take on this form

  2. kristianw84 says:

    I remember this one! I knew I tried my hand at a Diminishing Verse poem, but I couldn’t find it. Here, I posted it on one of your old posts!

    Your poem made me laugh! I also enjoyed the Untitled poem. Thank you for sharing these. You have inspired me to try more form poetry. I don’t think I’ll be able to give them justice like you do, but I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Kristian! I think of writing to form as a method of exercise for our literary muscles. And I know you love to be challenged. I look forward to reading your work. ♥

  3. petespringerauthor says:

    This looks like so much fun I might have to try it.

  4. Great examples. You are hysterical!

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