Flamenca: Poetic Forms - Writer's Digest

Flamenca: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the flamenca, also known as the seguidilla gitana or Gypsy seguidilla, a Spanish quintain form.
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Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the flamenca, also known as the seguidilla gitana or Gypsy seguidilla, a Spanish quintain form.

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Flamenca Poems

The flamenca is a Spanish quintain (or 5-line stanza) form with a staccato rhythm meant to replicate the click of heels by flamenco dancers. The flamenca goes by a few other names, including seguidilla gitana (or Gypsy seguidilla), playera, and/or sequiriya.

Here are basic guidelines of the flamenca:

  • 5 lines
  • lines 1, 2, 4, and 5 have 6 syllables
  • line 3 has 5 syllables
  • lines 2 and 5 assonate

Variation: Lines 3 and 4 may be combined to make an 11-syllable line and quatrain (or 4-line) stanza.

Also, here's a video of a poem titled "Tightrope: A Flamenca Poem" to help get you in the mood.

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Master Poetic Forms!

Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works. Discover a new universe of poetic possibilities and apply it to your poetry today!

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a flamenca:

two loons, by Robert Lee Brewer

We walked through the darkness
with a bunch of balloons
bound for a party
when along the wide lake
we caught sight of two loons

bathing in the light cast
by the moon's reflection
as if there were no
better place to stand still
in silent affection.

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