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Tinker

Cueca Chileana Verse

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Spanish Verse


Cueca Chileana Verse is a South American dance song. The Cueca is the national dance of Chile, originally by women protesting the loss of their men to war. The verse that accompanies the music and dance should be an emphatic anthem of the theme. It has the rhythm of the Seguidilla with an extra line.

The elements of the Cueca Chileana Verse are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of septets with a refrain added after L4 making it an 8 line stanza.
  2. syllabic, 7-5-7-5-5: 5-7-5 per line. There is a slight pause between L5 and L6 suggesting L5 should be end-stopped.
  3. rhymed by assonance xaxaa:bxb or xaxaa:bab. x being unrhymed. True rhyme is generally not used.
  4. composed with a volta or change in thought between L5 and L6.
  5. written with L4 repeated as a refrain in L5 which is preceded by the word "Sí" in Spanish or "yes" in English.

    Away by Judi Van Gorder

    He left when the sky was grey,
    sent away from me.
    His painful kiss took my heart,
    far across the sea,
    yes, across the sea.
    I still hear his voice,
    the memory calling me,
    swirling in a void.

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