Publish date:

Poetic Forms: Rispetto

Okay, here's a new form. Actually, scratch that. This is a very old form (from Italy, no less). Still, new to me anyway. I found more than a few definitions, but here are the two most common variations:

Rispetto #1: Poem comprised of two quatrains written in iambic (unstress, stress) tetrameter (four feet--or, in this case, 8 syllables).

Rispetto #2: Poem (or song) comprised of 8 hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) lines--usually one stanza.

Both versions appear to follow this rhyme scheme: ababccdd (though I also found a mention of an abababcc pattern). Plus, I found more than a few sources which claim rispettos were originally written to pay "respect" to a woman.

However, over the centuries, this poem has offered itself up for other subjects and variations. So feel free to experiment.

Here's my attempt at the rispetto (the second version):

"Forget sleeping"

When fires spark in the dark, I know you're near
enough to hear my kisses blaze against stark
atmospheres forming and reforming like clear
antidotes to tired notes left lounging in parks
on swings twisted by teenage angst-rage affairs--
all those stares, those wild stares--and I don't care
to let you know how much I care about life,
but it would mean less without you as my wife.

*****

Connect with me on Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn, and my other blog.

*****

The Poetry Dictionary cover

Learn more about poetic forms...

...with The Poetry Dictionary, by John Drury, which was actually one of my sources for the rispetto. It's crammed to the brim with poetic definitions, terms, thoughts, poems, and more.

Click here to learn more.

What to Say When Someone Wants to Kill You | Power of Words

What to Say When Someone Wants to Kill You

Author Gregory Galloway shares an intimate moment in his life that taught him the power of words and reveals why he became a writer.

Writing About Real People in Historical Fiction: What Is Factual and What Is Imagined

Writing About Real People in Historical Fiction: What Is Factual and What Is Imagined

When writing about real people in a real time, how do you distinguish between what is true and what is imaginary? Patti Callahan discuss how to write about real people in historical fiction.

the fisherman

The Fisherman

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about a fisherman.

Jenny Bayliss: On the Power of Second Chances

Jenny Bayliss: On the Power of Second Chances

Author Jenny Bayliss discusses the process of writing her new romance novel, A Season for Second Chances.

A Few Tips for Writing Personal Essays

A Few Tips for Writing Personal Essays

Here are a few tips for writing personal essays from the Publishing Insights column of the March/April 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Dispel vs. Expel (Grammar Rules)

Dispel vs. Expel (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between dispel and expel with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Author and writing instructor Laura Davis discusses the process of starting, stopping, and starting again with her new memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars.

From Our Readers

Which Writer or Work Made You Think About Point of View in a Different Way and Why?: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers question: Which writer or work made you think about point of view in a different way and why? Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

The kind of research you do can make or break your story's authenticity. Author Blake Sanz offers 4 tips on research for your novels and stories beyond getting the facts right.