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Tetrasyllabic Couplets

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Spanish PoetryTetrasyllabic Couplets are rhyming couplets originating in Catalonia Spain. The 4 syllable meter broke tradition in the standard of 8 syllable lines in the 15th century in Libre de les Dones by Jaum Roig (1478).


Catalan is a romance language still spoken in the Catalonia region of Spain. When Spain became a fascist dictatorship under Franco, an effort was made to stamp out the language but the language just went underground. After the fall of the Franco's regime the language reemerged. It is a kind of cross between French and Spanish.


The Tetrasyllabic Couplet is:

  • stanzaic, written in any number of couplets,
  • syllabic, 4 syllable lines.
  • rhymed aa bb cc


    One Too Many by Judi Van Gorder


    A glass of wine

    relax and dine,

    one more, a touch,

    fill up, too much.


    Repeated thrice

    a shot with ice,

    not booze, just beers,

    bottles with cheers.


    Hair of the dog,

    mind in a fog,

    one for the road

    to kiss a toad.


    Spiral and fall

    and hit the wall,

    a trembling hand

    no legs to stand.


    Company car

    drive home from bar,

    plow into fence

    boss getting tense.


    Finally fired

    husband retired,

    alone with drink

    life on the brink.

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