Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Never Work a Shift in Rubber Knee Boots that Don’t Fit.

I think the title says it all.

Haven’t done forms for awhile, so today we have two Spanish forms, the Cancione (not to be confused with the canzone, or the calzone for that matter, completely different) and the Lira.

First of all, the cancione is based on the nonce form. What is this nonce form? you ask. Well, I’m glad you did. There’s an explanation of it at, basically explaining that all forms were once nonce forms. How can that be? You ask. Well, I’m glad you did because its actually quite interesting. The nonce form is not free verse. To be a nonce poem, the poem must have structure, a distinctive rhyme scheme, meter, and form. Sound familiar? It should, most poem types we’ve covered this month have certain specific elements to them that mark them as one form or another. Except free verse, but that’s in a class all by itself. So, once upon a time, some guy kept going abab cdcd efef gg in iambic pentameter. It became recognized as a form and even got a name, the sonnet. So all forms begin as nonce forms, it’s just a matter of which ones get picked up and used and which don’t.

So the cancione as a nonce form isn’t popular yet, but it does have set rules for meter. To write a cancione, use seven and eleven syllable lines, or heptasyllable (7) and hendesyllable (11) lines. That’s it. I couldn’t fine much reference to the cancione on the web, but the cancion is mentioned on Wikipedia .

Now the lira. It’s a five-line form with special attention to syllable count and an ababb rhyme scheme. The syllable count and rhyme look like this:
For an example, try This isn’t my poem and all credit goes to the Italian Stallion, as indicated.

The same site has a fun rhymer tool. Try it out at

So that’s it for Spanish poetry. We’re in the downward trend on poetry month. I’ve had a lot of fun, I don’t know about you. I’ve still got some stuff up my sleeve with poets reading poetry and poets who pioneered one form or another, especially love, with focus on courtly love, in poetry. But in the days we have left, if there’s anything you’d like to see more of, less of, or bring up for the first time, leave a comment and be sure to check back for a response. Later days.


Rowenna said...

Enjoying all of it--continue to share away :)