There are many mind-blowing poetic forms, and Diminishing Verse is one! The only rule is that in a given stanza, the end word in a line is the same end word in the previous line, but with the first letter removed
. A three line stanza, for example, could have the following end words: “smart”, “mart”, and “art” (see the poem “A Clearing in the Woods” by William Preston, copied below).
There’s some wiggle room, though! Rather than removing a letter and keeping the spelling of the remaining word the same, you have the option to remove sounds. “Stare” could turn into “tear”, for example, and “tear” into “air”.
Read “A Clearing in the Woods
”, and then get reducing, dear writers—we can’t wait to read your diminished verse!
A Clearing in the Woods
Here, chickadees attired in dress as smart
as tuxedos from an upscale mart
display their peripatetic art
amidst the terse chromatic spray
of autumn leaves that seem to pray
for succor from each glancing ray
of sunlight in its fading trend
as winter comes apace to rend
the leaves, and bring the season's end.
How blessed is this wild place, where
nature has made a statement here,
and all this is a gift to all, ere
the light fades, and brings the prowls
of raccoons and shrews bats and owls.
In need of further inspiration? Check out these diminished verses from Community Ambassadors NS Kumar
[This prompt was designed by Community Ambassador Alum Zirong.]