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Huitain: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write the huitain, a French eight-liner, including guidelines for writing the poetic form and an example poem.

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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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 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.

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