Diminishing Verse: Poetic Form

Here’s a fun form: Diminishing Verse!

Diminishing Verse Poems

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 end word in 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.”

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Here’s my attempt at Diminishing Verse:

bullies, by Robert Lee Brewer

The many children in my neighborhood are glad
when all the adults chase around a certain lad
who acts the bad guy of an anti-bully ad,

but it’s ironic that any child who might stray
be knocked around like a cafeteria tray
when children only want to shine like a sun’s ray.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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65 thoughts on “Diminishing Verse: Poetic Form

  1. L. Milton

    Where’s the f@cking spam?!?

    So cold, yet hot, her eyes saffire,
    Look deep within, your soul afire,
    Your loins don’t know your heart’s on fire,
    You search for that which rose your ire,
    reply to mail no set, titled Re:,
    Enticing your of purchase pills blue and E.

  2. Tegan

    A Love with no end

    When I found you, I found love as pure as gold;
    A love I know will never grow old.

    Every morning I awaken and am reminded of a love that will never bend;
    A love so pure, without an end.

    I am sorry I have taken you for granted.
    In rage I have regretfully ranted.

    I thank you that your mercy never grows cold.
    Mercy so pure never grows old.

  3. Karen

    My mind is a blank I can’t think
    like a pen running out of ink

    my stomach gets a little queasy
    when rhyming doesn’t come easy

    untwisting the knot in my brain
    A downpour of needed rain

    1. ppfautsch24

      Holiday Cheer
      I spread and share holiday cheer everyday of the year.
      When you sang, whispered sweet endearments in my captivated ear.
      But, now mistletoe memories hang over me still,
      For your return I will wait till.
      Hoping to not forget or dismiss;
      Your tender love and holiday cheer that I dearly miss.
      By Pamelap

  4. PressOn

    IRISH UP, IRISH DOWN

    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.

  5. J.lynn Sheridan

    The Infinite Silence

    Little by little, during the wandering night, while the barn swallow
    flickers against the mirrored pond, he bares each fiery wallow
    of his heart and vows that when the moon, sallow and low
    to the sterile earth, glows gold, he’d atone for each and owe

    only one polished stone of honor to her intolerable infinite
    worth and grace. He’d kissed her threads of goodness with a finite
    blow silencing her fears of the danger of this damp night.

    And like the hush of the audience before the big show,
    no one in a million years would ever discover how.

  6. Tracy Davidson

    The Suit

    He wore his pulling garb of plaid
    hoping his lucky suit would get him laid,
    but ended up needing first aid.

    He should not have supped glass after glass
    or been so bold with a feisty lass,
    who knocked him cold right on his ass.

  7. Tracy Davidson

    Waiting Room

    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.

  8. tripoet

    Away With Her
    You could easily lose yourself in the reach of her smile.
    It stretches across the room, a pretty mile.
    You wouldn’t mind to be stranded on a French île
    happy with her on any side, wind or le,
    but when the mice scurry past you’ll screech “EEEE”

    1. PressOn

      Agreed, to wit….

      NO DIMINISHMENT IN SIGHT

      This addictive form can make a poet so brash
      that she or he can break out in a rash
      of words that fill the air like Etna’s ash.
      But let’s keep it our secret. Sh!

  9. De Jackson

    Casting more than quiet stones

    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.

    .

  10. Anthony94

    Cooking the Books

    Our man entered the casino with cash
    but at dawn left with little more than ash

    in his pocket; so aghast he swore then
    to become more like a well-renowned hen

    who excelled at that breadmaking task.
    Sow to bake, no mistake. For her recipe he should ask.

  11. PressOn

    OCTOBER IN THE PATCH

    In the garden the pumpkin plants splayed
    across furrows where other squash played;
    amongst them the smaller gourds laid,
    until farmers could come to their aid.

    1. PressOn

      Hmmmm… bag grammar here, methinks…

      OCTOBER IN THE PATCH (diminishing verse)

      In the garden the pumpkin plants splayed
      across furrows where other squash played;
      amongst them, smaller gourds were laid
      until farmers could come to their aid.

  12. DMK

    went to see the fireworks sitting away from the sparks
    was at my step sisters most of the rest were shows in the parks
    too many people for me at the park
    over the lake they went in an arch some watched in their floating ark

  13. RJ Clarken

    As soon as the door-buster was announced, people stampeded
    like crazed cattle, to the store. Oh yes, there was a major-league stampede.
    The managers should have handed out wristbands but instead, stamped
    shoppers’ hands with smeary ink as they tamped
    themselves again the soon-to-open entry way. Shoppers were wild – they couldn’t be tamed.
    True story. The crowd was anything but tame –
    and all because each wanted the best price for a TV or a necklace or a tam.
    I am
    surprised that no one got trampled or a…

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