Publish date:

Strambotto: Poetic Forms

Time for another Poetic Form Friday. After last week's echo verse, let's try out strambotto.

Image placeholder title

Strambotto Poems

Some of these forms are older than others, and the strambotto traces back to the 13th century. This Italian form known as ottava siciliana (Sicilian octave) or strambotto popolare was the preferred form in Southern Italy, while strambotto toscano was more popular in Tuscany [hat tip to Edward Hirsch's A Poet's Glossary]. Today strambotto toscano is known as ottava rima.

Here are the basic rules for strambotto:

  • Octave (8-line) poems or stanzas
  • Hendecasyllabic (or 11-syllable) lines
  • Rhyme scheme: abababab

Alternate version: There's also a six-line variant form (still called strambotto) with hendecasyllabic lines and an ababab rhyme scheme.

*****

Master Poetic Forms!

Image placeholder title

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.

*****

Here’s my attempt at Strambotto:

All's Fair, by Robert Lee Brewer

When you run out of reasons to dance or sing,
remember tomorrow is a brand new day
and that past regrets should not mean anything
if you wish to keep living in joyful ways.
For the past is the past, and the future brings
new chances to love and to even betray
a smile or a kiss as the wedding bells ring
and all of the children continue to play.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He is thankful that life goes on. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

Marjorie B. Kellogg: On Climate Fiction as Its Own Genre

Marjorie B. Kellogg: On Climate Fiction as Its Own Genre

Author Marjorie B. Kellogg discusses the decade-long process of writing her new science fiction/climate fiction novel, Glimmer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: A New Story Prompt, 7 WDU Courses, a Competition Deadline, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce a new story prompt, 7 WDU courses, a competition deadline, and more!

The One Rule of (Writing) Witchcraft

The One Rule of (Writing) Witchcraft

When writing about witches and witchcraft, explaining too much may take away from the magic. Writer Fire Lyte discusses how to write about witchcraft.

From Script

Storytellers Behind the Scenes (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read exclusive interviews with South of Heaven writer-director Aharon Keshales, Neil D’Monte who is one of Hollywood’s most sought after storyboard and concept artists, and Emmy nominated children’s television animation writer Denise Downer.

So You Wrote a Picture Book, Now What?

So You Wrote a Picture Book, Now What?

From finding trusted critics to securing an agent, author Christine Evans walks you through every step toward publishing your picture book after you've finished the writing process.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Undermining Your Expertise in Self-Help Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Undermining Your Expertise in Self-Help Writing

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is undermining your expertise in self-help writing.

Poetic Forms

Antonymic Translation: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at antonymic translation, a very contrary form.

10 Tips on Negotiating a Traditional Publishing Agreement

10 Tips on Negotiating a Traditional Publishing Agreement

Preparing to sign a contract is an exciting moment in the publishing process—but with it comes important steps to take to protect you and your work. Joseph Perry offers 10 tips on negotiating a traditional publishing agreement.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Permission to Enter

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Permission to Enter

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, give a character permission to enter a location.