Eight Line Poetry Forms

In poetry an octave can be any poetry stanza consisting of eight lines, and generically speaking, it can be any meter, rhymed, or un-rhymed, and any line length.

Most people consider octave poetry forms to be solely associated with the sonnet form, when nothing could be further from the truth. It is arguable which came first the octave or the sonnet. What is known is that sonnets and poems using the octave form appeared in Italy around the same time, and although there are an extremely large number of sonnets around, there are also a large number of poems that have used an octave stanza of one kind or another.

Quick guide to forms

(for more information click on the form)
Canzonetta Each stanza, a, b, a, b, c, d, c, D.
or, Prime a, b, a, b, c, b, c, B.
last line repeats any meter
Cavatina 3 x Alternating lines 10 syllables no rhyme with 4 syllables rhyming or repeat
then 2 x 10 syllable lines rhyming
Huitain a. b. a. b. b. c. b. c., or
a. b. a. b. a. c. a. c.
eight or ten syllable form
Hymnal Octave, Common Octave a. b. c. b. a. b. c. b.
a. Iambic Tetrameter.
b, Iambic Trimeter
Italian Octave a. b. b. a. a. b. b. a.

no set form, later Iambic.
Octave a. a. b. b. c. c. d. d.
or Blank verse, or Free verse
or unusual rhyme sequence
Ottava Rima a. b. a. b. a. b. c. c.

no set form, later Iambic.
Sicilian Octave a. b. a. b. a. b. a. b.

no set form, later Iambic.
Strambotto a. b. a. b. a. b. a. b... Siciliano (11 syllables)
a. b. a. b. a. b. c. c... Toscano
a. b. a. b. c. c. d. d... Romagnuolo
Triolet A. B. a. A. a. b. A. B
A. B. Completely repeated. or
A. B. Last line or phrase repeated
Un-wreathed Octave Ext Rhyme Scheme: b. a. b. d. c. d. c.
Int Rhyme Scheme: a. b. a. c. d. c. x.
No set meter
Wreathed Octave Ext Rhyme Scheme: a. b. a. b. c. d. c. d.
Int Rhyme Scheme: x. a. b. a. d. c. d. c.
No set meter

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