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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Spanish PoetryThe Quintilla is a 16th century Spanish quintain with a rhyme scheme that is more about what cannot be done than what can be done.


The Quintilla is:

  • syllabic verse, octasyllabic (8 syllable lines)
  • stanzaic, written in any number of quintains (5 line stanzas).
  • rhymed. In each quintain only 2 rhymes can be used and it cannot end in a rhyming couplet.
  • There is choice of rhyme schemes of ababa, abbab, abaab, aabab, or aabba
  • when written as a decastich, (2 quintillas) the verse is known as Copla Real


    El Viejo by Judi Van Gorder 7/1/03


    The ancient cur begins to rise

    ignoring stiff, defiant bones.

    Foolishly focused on the prize,

    his awkward pounce elicits groans.

    To snub one's age, not always wise.

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