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Endecha: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the endecha, which is a Spanish quatrain form.

The endecha is a 16th-century Spanish poetic form with the following guidelines:

  • Quatrain (or four-line) poem (or stanzas).
  • Rhyme scheme: abcb
  • Seven syllables per line for lines one, two, and three.
  • Line four has 11 syllables.

More on endecha: In Edward Hirsch's A Poet's Glossary, he refers to the form above as an "endecha real" (or "royal lament"). In his guide, the endecha is a lament or dirge that has four lines of six- or seven-syllable lines.

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The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at an endecha:

Cross Country, by Robert Lee Brewer

I remember when we ran
in the sun and in the rain
keeping track of times and miles
and always ready to go running again

talking as we huffed and puffed
up and down those winding hills
keeping track of times and miles
while softly pacing through our shared pains and thrills.

Note: My example has a refrain, but that's not a rule for endecha.

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