The word was first used by Christians and was a form of night prayers Later appeared in the 18th century and was derived from the French nocturnal and was usually music inspired by the night and played at evening parties. During that time poetry was also recited. 

The painter Whistler used that name in some of his paintings, they also had a night theme, which in turn inspired Chopin to write his well loved Nocturnes.

The Nocturna is basically a nine line poetry form based on the nocturne theme containing three, three line lessons recited during the night. The subject must be nocturnal and it consists of three couplets[tercets] linked by the rhyme of the centre line;

a. b. a. c. b. c. d. b. d.

My Star ‘Till The Morn

She sang softly like a bird taking flight, 

It was then that I fell in love with her. 

I wanted to hear her all through the night 

Though the radio now plays another song, 

I imagined that her voice was pure sugar 

Her presence now haunts me all winter long 

I close my eyes, because a dream’s been born, 

I know I will see her soon this summer 

The woman who’s now my star til the morn.

Terry Clitheroe

Pasted from <

My thanks to Terry Clitheroe of the

Since I found this form nowhere else, but repeated many times by different poets on the PoetsGarret site, I am making assumptions based upon the poems found there.


Specifications Restated:

The Nocturna is:

A 9 line poem based upon a nocturnal theme

Rhyme Scheme: abacbcdbd

Metered in iambic pentameter.


My example


Toward Brighter Nights (Nocturna)


Attending school and working in the day

I’m occupied, but that’s not true at night.

My lonely longing comes when you’re away.

The moon that gave your lovely face a glow

when on our swing we held each other tight

brings brightness to the frigid fields of snow.

For one more season we will be apart

then your return shall set my ev’nings right

and knowing that allows me to take heart.


© Lawrencealot – February 24, 2015


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