Rimas Dissolutas: Poetic Form

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Here’s a new (to me) form that sounds like it's a spell from the Harry Potter series of books: Rimas Dissolutas!

Rimas Dissolutas Poems

Popular with 12th and 13th century French poets, rimas dissolutas is a poem that rhymes and doesn't rhyme. For instance, each stanza contains no end rhymes, but each line in each stanza rhymes with the corresponding line in the next stanza--sometimes employing an envoi at the end.

For example, here's how the end rhymes would work in a rimas dissolutas with three five-line stanzas:

1-a
2-b
3-c
4-d
5-e

6-a
7-b
8-c
9-d
10-e

11-a
12-b
13-c
14-d
15-e

(If the poem had an envoi, it might be 2-3 lines long using the c, d, and/or e rhymes.)

Note: There are no rules for meter, line length, or syllables--except that it should be consistent from stanza to stanza.

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Here’s my attempt at Rimas Dissolutas:

the cat of sadness, by Robert Lee Brewer

the cat of sadness does not purr
late at night anymore or hunt
for creatures to offer up still
half-alive & held in her teeth

oblivious to trembling furr
focused on performing her stunt
& pleasing her king on the hill
who loved her above & beneath

but who left her for a new thrill
as she curled up into a wreath

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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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