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Tinker

The Silva

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Spanish PoetryThe Silva, a subverse form of the Canción, has unlimited number of Italianate lines (mixed 7 and 11 syllables) with a consonant rhyme scheme. In the 16th century Silvas were used for soliloquies of persons of high rank for "highly emotional narration and description."

 

In English prosody the term consonant rhyme means vowel sounds are disregarded and only the last consonant or penultimate and last consonants are considered. However in Spanish prosody, consonant rhyme is full rhyme, considering the last stressed or accented vowel, a following consonant and if any, a following unstressed vowel.

 

There are 4 types of Silvas:

  • Silva de consonantes, the defining features are:
    • stanzaic, any number of couplets.
    • syllabic, alternating 7-11 syllabic lines. 7-11 7-11 7-11 7-11 7-11 etc.
    • rhymed, consonant-full rhyme aabbccdd etc.

       

      Mr. Jones by Judi Van Gorder

      The office door stood ajar,

      invitation for our cheerful morning star.

      He liked to talk. Everyday

      he stopped to chat before going on his way.

      I suppose he was lonely,

      at 92, wife gone, kids grown, absentee.

      Welshman, from across the sea,

      he tried to teach me Welsh, often sang to me.

      Its been a while since he last

      stopped by. I miss his smile and song, his life passed.

  • Seven-Eleven, the defining features are:
    • stanzaic, any number of couplets.
    • syllabic, mixed or irregular 7 and 11 syllabic line. 7-7 7-11 11-11 11-7 etc or 7-11 7-7 11-7 11-7 11-11 or whatever combination at the discretion of the poet. (although L6 and if there is a L11 are always 11 syllables.)
    • rhymed, consonant-full rhyme with some lines unrhymed Rhyme scheme at discretion of poet.
  • All Eleven, the defining features are:
    • stanzaic, written in any number of couplets.
    • syllabic, all lines are hendecasyllabic.
    • rhymed, at least 50% with consonant-full rhyme, less than 50% unrhymed.
  • Seven-Eleven Couplet Rhyme, the defining features are:
    • stanzaic, written in any number of couplets
    • syllabic, Italianate lines, mixed, irregular 7-11 syllable line length.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme aabbccdd etc.

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