Sunday, April 5, 2020

poetry form week 34, Ovillejos



The ovillejo is an old Spanish form popularized by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). This 10-line poem is comprised of 3 rhyming couplets (or 2-line stanzas) and a quatrain (or 4-line stanza).
The first line of each couplet is 8 syllables long and presents a question to which the second line responds in 3 to 4 syllables–either as an answer or an echo.
The quatrain is also referred to as a redondilla (which is usually a quatrain written in trochaic tetrameter) with an abba rhyme pattern. The final line of the quatrain also combines lines 2, 4, and 6 together.
As such, here’s how the whole poem comes together (line-by-line):
Line 1: a rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 2: a rhyme in 3-4 syllables
Line 3: b rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 4: b rhyme in 3-4 syllables
Line 5: c rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 6: c rhyme in 3-4 syllables
Line 7: c rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 8: d rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 9: d rhyme in 8 syllables
Line 10: (Line 2) (Line 4) (Line 6)


 an example of Ovillejos


when do you paint a sunburned face?
On April 5th

where do you find a wooden tooth?
in a newcomb booth

out of where do all people hook?
in a book

and if a poem reads unfurled
like foggy winter car window,
don't reject limericks to a widow
on april 5th in a newcomb booth ---in a book

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