Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Writing Exercise - the canzonetta

 by Ashley Lister

 The canzonetta is a lyric poem. It contains varying line lengths, varying metrical patterns and a refrain.
A typical canzonetta consists of at least two octaves. Each octave should use a series of alternating couplets and the last line or phrase of a stanza is repeated in each subsequent stanzas.

The rhyme scheme is:
a b a b c d c D 
a b a b c b c B

Note that the capital letter indicates a repeated line. Does this sound complicated? Would it be better illustrated with an example?

I think it’s time we played a game
A game you’ll know from way back when
Get naked and embrace the shame
Although you’re in the lion’s den
You’ll touch your toes, spread both your cheeks
Conclude your prayer and say, “Amen.”
In my domain no other speaks
So close your eyes and count to ten

You hold your breath and worry hard
Because it’s time to play again
You fear your backside might get scarred
As once perhaps it did back then
You wonder what’s about to come
A sigh of leather and you ken
The pain is aimed right for your bum
So close your eyes and count to ten

You’ll notice here that I’ve gone for the a b a b c b c B rhyme scheme. My refrain, ‘So close your eyes and count to ten’ will continue to work through this poem if I go on to develop it into further stanzas. As always, I look forward to reading your poetry in the comments box below.

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