Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Poetry Stretch - Décima

The following description comes from my April 2015 interview with Margarita Engle.

The décima is a rhymed, metered poem that most commonly has ten eight-syllable lines in a rhyme pattern abba aa abba.

Here's an example.

by Margarita Engle

In a time when people were stars
in deep, hidden caves of the sea,
a fisherman ventured so far
that a hole in the cave set him free.

He burst from the cave up to sky
and reached the bold shimmer of light.
No longer a man who could cry,
he was silent until darkest night.

Then the song that flew from his heart
was the sweetest song ever heard,
a melody about the start
of life as a winged, singing bird!

Poem ©Margarita Engle, 2015. All rights reserved.

In this poem, Margarita used twelve lines with a rhyme pattern abab  cdcd  efef. As she said, "Changing a décima is perfectly acceptable!  When they’re used as the lyrics of rumba songs, they are often improvised."

You can learn more about the décima at NBCLatino.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a décima. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Girl

    Across the meadow the girl ran,
    feet flying like birds through green.
    Crickets called, voices light and clean.
    A snake slid hidden as snakes can.

    And who was to catch her? Her gran
    was gone. The elders of the clan

    would grumble, mumble to a man
    about the day when she’d be queen.
    Till then she’d learned to pass unseen
    like the small snake, and grow up wild and tan.

    —Kate Coombs, 2015
    all rights reserved