Huitain: Poetic Form

Recently, I covered ae freislighe, after neglecting Irish forms a bit too long. This time around, I’m getting back to my French form roots with the huitain!

Huitain Poems

If you know me, you know I love the French poetic forms. The huitain is actually a derivative of the French ballade. In fact, it is a complete 8-line poem composed of one ballade stanza.

Here are the guidelines for the huitain:

  • 8-line stanza
  • ababbcbc rhyme scheme
  • Usually 8 to 10 syllables per line

Note: You may remember me previously covering the dizain, which is a 10-line poem composed of a ballade supreme stanza. (If not, check it out here.)


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Here’s my attempt at a Huitain Poem:

The Dragon, by Robert Lee Brewer

Then, once upon a time, I spied
a dragon hover over trees
and thought perhaps that I should hide
before the beast also spied me,
but my fear would not let me see
that for me it had no real care
while it used its wings to be free
of the water, the earth, and air.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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9 thoughts on “Huitain: Poetic Form

  1. taylor graham


    Against the kitchen ceiling, lit
    by dawn, a spinning spider dance.
    A hanging web; encircling it
    two spider-lives; a circumstance
    and pomp, and yes, an elegance
    of oh-so-slowly weaving limbs
    uncountable; the hanging chance
    in nature’s woven, silken whims.

  2. taylor graham


    A wondrous find it was, indeed.
    You brought me to a polished stone –
    remnant of the Deep Blue Lead,
    an ancient river like a bone
    buried in land we thought our own.
    The rock veined golden, amber, blue
    as evening sky. So much unknown
    that underlies us; shifting, new.

  3. Tracy Davidson


    I can’t explain the love I felt
    the first time I held my own child.
    My non-maternal heart did melt,
    I was instantly beguiled
    by mewling infant, not so mild.
    Never thought I’d be so content
    to settle from a life once wild,
    but motherhood is heaven sent.

  4. Tracy Davidson

    Big Kid

    Just because I’m over forty
    doesn’t mean I’m way past my prime,
    my childish side still gets naughty.
    I still like puddles, mud and grime
    and finding decent trees to climb.
    With swings and slides, and other stuff,
    for grown-up things I don’t have time.
    Old age will creep up soon enough.

  5. J.lynn Sheridan


    The thunder raises a powerful arm—
    a gaudy shadow of my malaise; there
    he wanders forth in gray alarm
    as I charm both candle and prayer.
    Tonight Sirius cowers as this great bear
    courts the heart of earth; an affaire de coeur—
    a serenade upon midnight’s air—
    a dream whisperer or dream silencer.

  6. rlk67


    ‘Wake up! Wake up! It’s time to jog!
    The sun won’t wait, the world does knock!’
    I can’t…I’m sleeping like a log,
    I’ll smash your face, you stupid clock.
    ‘It’s only the initial shock!
    Leap out of bed, you’ll feel much greater!’
    I won’t listen to my doc,
    I’m rolling over, catch ya later.

  7. PressOn


    The words won’t come; I wonder why
    they all have wandered off today
    and stars won’t whisper by and by
    and bid my muse come out to play
    with williwaws that waft my way.
    It is a curse to hear a song,
    a melody both brisk and gay,
    and yet, the words won’t ride along.

  8. Walter J Wojtanik


    In the shadows of a hungry heart,
    we come to find where passions grow.
    And it becomes the place to start,
    the beginning mark from whence we go
    to reap the fruits of the love we sow.
    A harvest of a most loving kind
    where in our minds these memories grow
    and love will fill us in heart and mind.


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