Octava Real

The Octava Real is the Spanish version of the Ottava Rima. This 14th century stanzaic form, like its Italian counterpart, is a narrative, often telling the story of important events.

The Octava Real is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of octaves.
• hendecasyllabic, written in 11 syllable lines.
• rhymed, abababcc.
• a narrative, tells a story.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1913
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example
Assailing Wassailing (Form: Octava Real)

It’s friendly and noble I guess to wassail
if wifey approves of your gaggle of friends.
You all sit around drinking pints of good ale
insulting each other, then making amends.
Too often somebody will end up in jail.
It’s time that I stop it, my wife now contends;
my children agree and my doctor does too,
“wassailing is not for a codger like you.”

© Lawrencealot – December 30, 2014

was·sail (wŏs′əl, wŏ-sāl′)
a. A salutation or toast given in drinking someone’s health or as an expression of goodwill at a festivity.
b. The drink used in such toasting, commonly ale or wine spiced with roasted apples and sugar.
2. A festivity characterized by much drinking.

Visual template

You may choose any or no meter. This is catalectic amphibraic tetrameter.

Octava Real


rispetto, ( Italian:: “respect,” ) plural rispetti,  a Tuscan folk verse form, a version of strambotto. Therispetto lyric is generally composed of eight hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) lines. In its earliest form the rhyme scheme was usually abababcc. Later, the scheme ababccdd became more prominent, and other variations can also be found.

The form reached its pinnacle of both artistic achievement and popularity in the 14th and 15th centuries, particularly in the work of Politian, to whom some 200 rispetti are ascribed. Lorenzo de’ Medicialso wrote rispetti.

Pasted from <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/504518/rispetto>


A Rispetto, an Italian form of poetry, is a complete poem of two rhyme quatrains with strict meter. The meter is usually iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of abab ccdd. A Heroic Rispetto is written in Iambic pentameter, usually featuring the same rhyme scheme.

Pasted from <http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/rispetto.html>


Restated and consolidated rules:

The Rispetto is:
a poem in an octave, made up of 2 quatrains.
most often written in iambic tetrameter 
or it can be syllabic with lines between 8 and 12 syllables.
rhymed rhymed ababccdd or abababcc or abab cddc
The Heroic Rispetto is:
a poem in an octave made up of 2 quatrains.
always written in iambic pentameter.
rhymed ababccdd or abababcc or abab cddc
It appears that either may be separate quatrains or
a single octave as the poet prefers.


Example Poem

Heroic Rispetto by Lawrecealot

Rispetto Be or Not to Be

Rispetto is an old Italian form.
It’s English use has been neglected here.
It’s not in books that are the writers’ norm.
But searching yielded samples quite unclear.

What once was standard tetrameter changed.
It now can stretch to hexameter, dear.
If you have penned two stanza poems arranged
in quatrains your Rispetto may be here.

(c) Lawrencealot – April 16, 2012

Visual Template


The Strambotto has three primary versions:
All are presented here.
The Siciliano,  rhymed abababab
The Tuscano,  rhymed ababccdd (preferred), abababcc,  aabbccdd
and the Romagnuolo, rhymed ababccdd
It is:
Lyrical – Written as one octave, or with the Tuscano, possibly one sestet.  It you wish to write several stanza it becomes an Ottava Rima.
Rhymed – Each with its specific pattern(s).
Isosyllabic – Each line has precisely eleven syllables.
Below are additional resources with history and added information.  At the end you will find my Visual Templates.
This was an early form of Italian poetry that was set to music by composers of the frottola and madrigals of the 16th century. The poetry is set into very strict stanzas of eight lines of eleven syllables. This type of stanza is known as rispetto or ottava rima. The musical rispetto was usualy dedicated to a lady love, Aside from the fact the ottava rima had no set form length and later became Iambic it also came from literature and generally had multiple stanzas, but musical version, the strambotto was typically created with a single stanza.
There are three basic types of strambotto and they are identified by their rhyme scheme.
1. Strambotto Siciliano
It will be noted that this is similar to the Sicilian Octave, but follows the Strombotto rules and consists of eight strict hendecasyllable lines (11 syllables), and similarly for multi stanzas.
a. b. a. b. a. b. a. b. 
2. Strambotto Toscano
This form is most used for stand alone poetry, but can be used for multiple stanzas. When writing muliple stanzas (as in a song), it is usual to link each stanza by either a refrain or using the whole or part of the last line of the previous stanza as the first line of the next stanza:
a. b. a. b. a. b. c. c. 
3. Strambotto Romagnuolo
This form has the octave constructed from a Sicilian quatrain and a quatrain of two couplets. The same rules apply about stand alone poems, and multiple stanzas.
a. b. a. b. c. c. d. d
My thanks to the poetsgarret.
The Strambotto is thought to have influenced the development of the Sicilian Octave and the birth of the sonnet. The Strambotto is one of the earliest Italian verse forms and can be found in works from the 12th through the 19th centuries usually set to music. The name comes from the Occitan,estrabot which refers to sentimental and or amorous rhymes. Sources suggest the early Strambotto varied between 6 or 8 lines long however it was eventually recognized as an 8 line form holding fast to a strict 11 syllable line. Rhyme seems to be delineated by territory, Tuscan, Sicilian and Romano. The frame appears to be the same as the Ottavo Rima Stanza. However, the forms are quite different in that the Strombotto is limited to a single lyrical, octave while the Ottavo Rima is a narrative, stanzaic verse written with any number of octaves. 
The Strambotto is:
  • lyrical.
  • an octastich, a poem in 8 lines. (When written in narrative stanzas it is better known as Ottava Rima)
  • syllabic, strict hendecasyllabic lines. In English it has been found in iambic pentameter.
  • rhymed, most often follows the Tuscan patterns of abababcc and occasionally aabbccdd and is sometimes called Strambotto Tuscano. TheSicilian Strambottos followed the rhyme pattern of abababab and the Strambotto Romagnuolo carries a rhyme scheme of ababccdd.
My thanks to PoetryMagnumOpus
Strambotto (Sicilian)
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic
Hendecasyllabic lines rhymed abababab. Usually is lyrical and sentimental or amorous.
Rhyme: abababab
Meter: xxxxxxxxxxx
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
See Also:
Strambotto (Tuscan)
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic
Stanzas of 6 or 8 hendecasyllabic lines rhymed ababccdd (preferred), abababcc, aabbccdd, ababcc, ababab, or aabbcc. Usually is lyrical and sentimental or amorous.
ababccdd (preferred),
ababab, or
Meter: xxxxxxxxxxx
See Also:
My thanks to Poetry Base.
Example Poem
This Drink’s on Me, Err… You (Strambotto)

While I drank sociably, the crowd grew pressing
I’d come because the band was recommended.
Folks were rowdy, unfriendly, rude, depressing.
A girl approached, her lovely hand extended
“May I have your stool to sit next to my sis?”?
“Sure.?” I’d been taught manners are not hit or miss.
Her “sis” rose, gave seat to girl’s male friend (I think.)
When they danced I spilled upon their stools, my drink.

© Lawrencealot – December 12, 2013

VISUAL TEMPLATES. These show the rhyme patterns and syllable count.
                                      No specfic meter is mandated, I have shown both
                                      iambic and trochaic possibilities.

Double Swap Ottava

An Octet,  Rhyme: abababcc,  Meter: Iambic Pentameter
This is a form invented by Discoveria, of Allpoetry.com

The form has an Ottava Rima framework in which the sections of the first line are swapped to become the last line of the stanza, thus creating a Swap Ottava.

A Double Swap Ottava
requires that technique to be applied to two of the early lines, normally Line 1 and 2, to become the closing couplet of the octet.

Minimum length 8 Lines, no maximum
Meter: Iambic pentameter
Rhyme: ababaabcc

Example Poem

Social Schism (Double Swap Ottava)

Some do less, some do more to help the whole.
all members knew the score when tribes were small.
Great hunters, all the members would extoll.
Their prowess was a benefit for all.
The tribes were healthy when each played their role,
Our tribe will fail if no one heeds that call.
When tribes were small all members knew the score.
To help the whole,  some do less, some do more.

© Lawrencealot – January 2, 2013

Visual Template

Ottava Rima

A Ottava Rima is a poem written in 8-line octaves.
Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in
the following rhyme:
one octave poem. abababcc
two octave poem. abababcc, dededeff
three octave poem. abababcc, dededeff, ghghghii

…so on and so on

Example Poem

Hereafter What?

Amazing homeostasis defies
entropy, seemingly with thoughtful change.
Through positive and negative replies
to stimuli it locks into a range.
A cell no more thinks than a piglet flies.
Ours try for constant Ph to arrange.
Each does its stupendous job then it dies.
With no need to fret where its future lies.

All instructions are D.N.A.  coded,
as is their time to “die”, then they’re replaced-
or not.  A mountain grows then’s eroded,
while vapor turns to water being chased
through mountains cracks; more rocks are exploded,
Sometimes this cycle seems to be a waste.
Yet, waste or not it will play to the end.
That sir, is how my life will work, my friend.

Man’s invented God since men could converse,
for death was never obscure- purpose was!
For most all, life was hard and they feared worse.
Hence gods were wrought to whom to plead their cause.
I’ve actualized myself though time  is terse.
I’ve lived, live yet, and require no applause.
Life’s tiller needs no Maker’s mighty hand.
His role fulfilled with big bang, on demand.

Those faith imbued may feel for me as I
so feel for them, saddened they’re not complete.
“They’re in a better place” will comfort my
peers – not I.  “They” must mean souls, not discrete
tokens.  Those souls pre- and post- life rely
on no puppet master, on no hymn sheet.
If soul there be then soul there is right now,
and will be then continuing, somehow.

(c) Lawrencealot – May 28, 2012

Visual Template