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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Spanish Verse

The Ovillejo which in Spanish means "small clew or ball" or "a metrical composition" or "ball of yarn" was brought to my attention from an article by Kate Bernadette Benedict in what I believe was an online magazine, Tilt a Whirl shared here at PMO by Badger. With a little more research I found is was first made popular by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) of Don Quixote fame. You can read an English Translation of Cervantes' Ovillejo here. Apparently it was also popular in the Dominican Republic in the 19th century which is what brought it to the attention of Tilt a Whirl
The elements of the Ovillejo are:

  1. a 10-line poem made up of 3 rhymed couplets and a redondilla quatrain.
  2. syllabic, lines of the couplets alternate 8 and 3-4 syllables each, The redondilla quatrain has 8 syllable lines, often trochaic tetrameter.
  3. rhymed aa bb cc deec rhyme pattern.
  4. composed with L10 as L2, L4, L6 strung together.
  5. composed with the long lines of the couplets asking a question and the short lines are either an echo or a response.
    x x x x x x x a
    x x x a
    x x x x x x x b
    x x x b
    x x x x x x x c
    x x x c
    x x x x x x x c
    x x x x x x x e
    x x x x x x x e
    xxxa xxb xxxc

    (the reason for the wiggle room in syllables is because in Spanish prosody the syllable count can be one more or less syllable depending on where the accent falls at the end of the line. In English you should probably pick a number of syllables and stick with it.) 

    Houston Texas 8-27-2017

    Atop a roof, when will they come?
    Old folk, kids with Moms wait for aid
    made afraid.
    Bayou flows over all held dear,
    creeping fear.
    Water fills homes, roads disappear,
    people wading through flooded streets
    cautious of gators they might meet.
    Worrisome, made afraid, creeping fear.
                             ~~Judi Van Gorder

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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