Repeating Poetry Forms

There are many types of interlocking forms of poetry. Some forms use a refrain or a repeating line such as the Rondeau or Rondel. Others set the rhyme by using a line from the previous post and using that line in the last stanza to set the rhyme of the first stanza. One example of this form is the Terza Rima.
An alternative is to use a line from the previous stanza and make it the first or last line of the new stanza, the Villanelle comes readily to mind.

It seems that every nation has enjoyed using their own version of repeating or interlocking forms and poets as well as enjoying the poetic form in its purest manner have also adapted and put their own mark on that form. Lewis Turco and the Terzanelle, is a wonderful example.

All of them are pleasant sounding forms and appear easy to write, but without exception are far more challenging to write than "conventional" rhyming poetry and perhaps this is why they have fallen out of fashion in this modern age of fast food, fast cars and fast poetry.

The purpose here is to reintroduce these oft forgotten forms and challenge you to try them and also to see if in that challenge there can be a little revival.

I hope to add to this collection from time to time, so please if you hear of any form or feel like contributing in some way, please do.

Quick guide to forms

(for more information click on the form)
Ballade Each stanza, a, b, a, b, b, c, b, C.
And the envoy, b, c, b, C.
eight or ten syllable form
Catena Rondo Each stanza, A. B. b. A.
any number of stanza,using B to replace A etc
Last stanza same as original. No set form
Kyrielle Each stanza, a. a. b. B. or a. b. a. B
any number of stanza,
eight syllable form
Quatern A. b. a. b ..b. A. b. a ..a. b. A. b ..b. a. b. A.
A. x. x. x ..x. A. x. x ..x. x. A. x ..x. x. x. A.
eight or ten syllable form
Rondeau (Ra). b. b. a. ..... a. a. b. R.
..... a. a. b. b. a. R.
eight syllable form
Rondel Two Quatrains A. B. a. b.... a. b. A. B.
Quintain a.b.b.a.A.(B.) or Sestet a.b.a.b.A.B
eight syllable form
Rondine (Ra.) b. b. a. a. b. R.... a. b. b. a. R.

eight syllable form
Roundel a.b.a.B....b.a.b....a.b.a.B.

Any meter
Roundelay a.a.b.B....c.c.b.B....etc.

Any meter
Sestina a.b.c.d.e.f....f.a.e.b.d.c....c.f.d.a.b.e....d.e..d.e.
e.c.b.f.a.d....d.e.a.c.f.b....b.d.f.e.c.a..
1) .. b.a... 2) d.c... 3) f.e. Any meter
Terza Rima a.b.a....b.c.b./.x.z.x....z.z. or
a.b.a....b.c.b./.x.z.x....z.a.z.
eight syllable form
Terzanelle A1.B.A2....b.C.B...c.D.C....d.E.D....e.F.E.
6th (Final) Stanza..f.F.A1.A2..or.. f.A1.F.A2.
No set meter
Triolet A. B. a. A. a. b. A. B.

eight syllable form
Villanelle A1.b.A2...a.b.A1...a.b.A2...a.b.A1...a.b.A2.
Final stanza a.b.A1.A2. or b.b.A1.A2
No set meter
ZaniLa Rhyme Based on Long Measure a. b1. c. b2.
Internal Rhyme c1. c2 alternating each line
a, c. b2, 9 syllables b1. 7.syllables



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