Letrilla

Spanish Poetry

The Letrilla is a short strophic form from 16th century Spain that is usually humorous or satirical. The form can sometimes be found in religious verse also. This lyrical verse is written with a theme refrain of any number of lines which usually begins and ends the poem.

 

The Letrilla is:

  • strophic, any number of lines contained in the strophe.
  • syllabic, often written in 6 or 8 syllable lines. Lines should be short and approximate length.
  • composed with a refrain which begins and ends the piece.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme would depend on the length of the strophe. The theme refrain AA (or however many lines) and the strophe rhyme is often envelope rhyme AA bccb ba AA or AA bcccba AA etc .
Letrilla by Francesco de Quevedo 1580-1645

Poderosos caballero
es don Dinero

Madre, yo al oro me humillo
el es mi amante y mi amado,
pues de puro enamorado,
anda contino amarillo;
que pues doblon o sencillo,
hace todo cuanto quiero
poderoso caballero
es don Dinero.

 

 

Letrilla by Francesco de Quevedo
translated by Judi Van Gorder

A powerful horseman
is Mr. Money.
Mother, because of gold I make a fool of myself,
It is my lover and my beloved
because it is purest love.
it walks a golden path.
Whether complicated or simple
It does all that I want
A powerful horseman
is Mr. Money.

 

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1866
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

 

My example 

Fresh as a Daisy  (Letrilla) 

I’ve written doggerel a lot.
Purposely?  Well, usually not.
While I’m smart as a whip
when I write about June
and I rhyme it with moon
it is sometimes a slip
not a purposeful quip,
just the best that I’ve got.
I’ve written doggerel a lot.
Purposely?  Well, usually not. 

© Lawrencealot – February 15, 2015

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