Huitain

Huitain

Type:

Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Isosyllabic, Simple

Description:

A complete poem composed of one ballade stanza: eight or ten-syllable isosyllabic lines rhyming ababbcbc.

Also known as the Monk’s Tale Stanza.

Origin:

French

Schematic:

ababbcbc

Rhythm/Stanza Length:

8

Line/Poem Length:

8

Pasted from <http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/001/145.shtml>

My Thanks to Charles Weatherford for the fine resource above.

  • Huitain, is an octastich, a poem in 8 lines. It is made up of a single Ballade stanza without an envoy. The verse form was most popular in the 16th century and was often used for epigrams in the 18th century. One source suggests the Hutain may have begun in Spain with the simple 8 syllable by 8 line frame which is typical of early Spanish verse. Which came first and who influenced who, who knows. The French were sometimes known to use the frame for a collaborative poem between 2 or more poets. Each poet contributing a hutain around a central theme.The Huitain is an octastich written in octasyllabic lines, the most common rhyme scheme ababbcbc.

 

Pasted from <http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=690#huitain>

 My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the fine resource above.

The true Huitain is a single verse, eight line poem with eight syllables per line.
The French form began as the Spanish with eight lines of eight syllables, but it also allowed for the continuation of the poem in additional eight line stanzas. It was even accepted as a form of collaborative poetry with several poets each contributing their own eight line stanza.
The English, with their fondness for iambic pentameter, also accepted ten syllable lines, but to me this strays too far from the original intent of the form. Myself, I stuck to the original, Spanish rules. My example is eight lines of eight syllables each. 🙂

Various rhyme schemes that have been accepted:
French/English #1: ababbcbc
French/English #2: abbaacac
Spanish #1: ababacac
Spanish #2: abbaacca 

Example Poem
Today’s Press Too (Huitan – French/English # 2)
“First get your facts said young Mark Twain,
then …distort them as you (may) please,”
an editorial newsprint tease.
The politicians all do feign
to patiently their points explain,
but facts seem bothersome at best,
when asked details they will abstain.
They give just “views” then let you guess.
Lawrencealot – November 12, 2012
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