How To Write Chastushka
Chastushka poems are traditionally short poems that are just four lines in length. They will always rhyme and they can use one of several rhyming patterns. The most common forms of rhyme are ABAB and AABB. There are also instances of the poem having an ABCA rhyming structure.
Rules of the Chastushka
- It is a poem for 4 lines
- It must rhyme
- You can decide the rhyme scheme
The Chastushka poem is known for being humorous or satirical in nature. They originated as a form of folk entertainment in Russia. They can be performed by two people who are trading insults at each other. The form is incredibly similar to a traditional British or American limerick.
Advantages of the Form
The chastushka has the greatest asset of almost any form: it’s fun. These poems, especially if you trade them back and forth with another, can be a source of creative entertainment. They might not yield the most beautiful poems but they just might yield the funniest. If you’re looking for a light-hearted creative outlet, look no further.
Challenges of the Form
As always, the rhyme scheme can be difficult to work with. It is very easy to get stuck on words that you just can’t make work with others. Don’t fret! The rhyme scheme is pretty forgiving so you can always change it up if you need to. Additionally, as stated above, you might not create the most beautiful poems ever. This form fits a very specific niche.
Chastushka Writing Prompts
Prompt 1 – Horrible Bosses
Today is the day you get to finally roast your boss to his face. Only caveat is that you only have 4 lines to do it in and it must rhyme.
Another day of tuna, Dave?
You might want to give it a rest.
You’re either incredibly stupid or a little bit brave
because that fish breath makes us depressed.
Prompt 2 – Technical Difficulties
Phone problems? Wi-Fi cut out? Laptop charging at a glacial pace? Write about your latest run-in with problematic technology.
Brand new charger fresh out the pack
Fiber-optic wire, 10-foot cord
Was pretty expensive, it cost me a stack
Big surprise! It doesn’t fit in the port.
Prompt 3 – Ordering From a Restaurant
You have to place your order as a chastushka. Good luck getting your steak medium rare in a rhyme.
I think I’ll have the BLT
but hold the bacon if you please
It’s a salad sandwich just for me
I’ve got bad pork allergies
Prompt 4 – Roommate Troubles
You’re frustrated with your roommate (partner, husband, cat, whatever). Express your annoyance in a chastushka.
A cat brings joy, that’s just empirical
2 new kittens this year, a Christmas Miracle
3 cats brings sorrow, and anger too
I spend all my days scooping poo.
Prompt 5 – Sunday Scaries
It’s almost Monday. Boooooooooooo. Are you celebrating the last day of your weekend or are you too worried about the week to come?
It’s Sunday now, the day of rest
Enjoy the break, I try my best
But every time I close my eyes
I dream of sudden Monday skies
Prompt 6 – Caught!
You got caught doing something you didn’t want anyone to see. What were you doing?
I put my finger in my nose
I’m all alone, no one knows
Except for the lady in the car to my right
I’m so embarrassed I run the light
Prompt 7 – Sarcastic Children’s Story
Your kid is asking for yet another bedtime story. It’s wayyyyyyy past bedtime, so you tell one that is sure to end the conversation.
There once was a very sleepy fox
Who refused to sleep or clean up his blocks
One day a monster climbed into his room
And that’s how our fox met his doom