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Tinker

The Cavatina

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Italian Poetry

The Cavatina is a simple rhymed verse. One source, Poet's Garret, indicates the poetic form originated in Italy in the 14th century. The same poetic frame is also described in Pathways for a Poet by Viola Berg. The frame is suited to both reflective verse which leads to a strong climax or for light verse.

The term can be found in the dictionary as used in 1830 to describe an opertic solo shorter than an aria. On the internet it primarily refers to a classical guitar piece. The term Cavatina does come from the Italian "cavata" which is the production or extraction of sound from an instrument or the Latin "cavus " to dig or hollow out.

The Cavatina is:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains made up of uneven couplets and finally ending in a declamatory couplet.
  2. metered, alternating iambic pentameter and iambic dimeter lines. The end declamatory couple is iambic pentameter.
  3. rhymed. Rhyme scheme x a x a, x b x b, x c x c, etc. d d. x being unrhymed. The end couplet is rhymed.

    Eye of the Beholder by Judi Van Gorder

    I never thought my Mom was very pretty--
    the glasses ruled.
    It was Dad we always deemed the stunning one--
    the ladies drooled.

    So tall with sea green eyes and wavy hair
    he'd win your heart.
    We all adored this playful handsome man
    who stood apart,

    and oh, so smart, he knew that Mom was first class,
    her beauty shined right through the wire frames and glass.

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