The monotetra is a form developed by Michael Walker. Each stanza contains four lines in monorhyme. Each line is in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of eight syllables. What makes the monotetra so powerful as a poetic form, is that the last line contains two metrical feet, repeated. It can have as few as one or two stanzas, or as many as desired.

Stanza Structure:

Line 1: 8 syllables; A1
Line 2: 8 syllables; A2
Line 3: 8 syllables; A3
Line 4: 4 syllables, repeated; A4, A4  (8/8/8/8)

Example Poem


My gramp brought me a valentine.
To give to mommy and it’s just fine.
I’m four years old and it’s all mine.
A valentine. A valentine.

It’s got a heart and teddy bear
To show my mom how much I care.
A tiny voice came from nowhere,
“I’ve got no flair.” “I’ve got no flair.”

Somehow that card said words to me.
“I’m not as fine as I can be.
I need more personality”
that she can see, that she can see.”

“With your help lad, I’ll be much more.
I’ll be a card that she’ll adore.”
I’ll not be common anymore!
Accept this chore.  Accept this chore.”

With a crayon I wrote just “my”
before “Mom”.   She is my own, that’s why.
I signed Tommy then heard card sigh.
I don’t know why, I don’t know why.

The card she’s kept for all this time.
A priceless card that cost a dime.
Mom says I made the value climb
with my first rhyme, with my first rhyme.

© Lawrencealot – February 9, 2013

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Paulo Comitatu

This is a poetry form created by Allen R.  Emery,  aka Joe King on
I call this form paulo comitatu, “Little Train”. It is like an engine then three other cars. 
Line 1 of each verse in Iambic Tetrameter
Lines 2-4 are Iambic trimeter.
The trimeter lines share mono-rhyme.
Stanza patters are you choice, the template shows three possibles:
x, a, a, a. 
x, b, b, b. 
a, b, b, b
a, c, c, c
d, e, e, e
d, f, f, f
a, b, b, b,
a b, b, b,    
c, d, d, d, 
c, d, d, d.

Poem Example

Sketch a Man

A man wants many things in life.
He wants security,
he needs identity,
and wants fidelity.

 He wants not just a faithful wife, 
but certainty from all, 
in matters large and small 
when friends and family call.
 One having such, can actualize 
and act not just for him, 
but laugh and joke on whim, 
and smile when hopes are dim.
 Foremost it comes as no surprise 
her touch, her talk, her care 
the ideas that they share 
will take man anywhere.

  © Lawrencealot – December 27, 2012
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Paulo Comitatu

Sestina – Conventional

The sestina (less commonly, though more correctly, sextain) is a wondrous strange beast, the brainchild of a twelfth-century Provençal troubador. It doesn’t use rhyme; instead, it has six keywords essential to the poem’s structure. The poem’s 39 lines – six 6-line stanzas followed by a 3-line envoi or tornada – all end with one of the keywords; in the tornada, there are two keywords in each line, one of them at the end and the other somewhere in the middle. It may all begin to make sense if we try an example.
stanza 1: 123456
stanza 2: 615243
stanza 3: 364125
stanza 4: 532614
stanza 5: 451362
stanza 6: 246531
This is the prescribed order for a sestina – at least, for an unrhymed one. (Yes, there are rhymed ones too. This is a variation dealt with later.) No deviation from this order is tolerated.
However, there are several different possible orders for the keywords in the tornada (“tornada schemes“).
The popular schemes are 12/34/56, 14/25/3625/43/61 and 65/24/31. Pretty well anything goes, really.
You’ll notice that each keyword appears once in the first line of a stanza, once in the second line of a stanza, and so on. You may also notice that the permutations of the keywords follow a regular pattern. It’s all a bit like bell-ringing. Or mathematical group theory, for that matter.
At 39 lines, the sestina is eligible for poetry competitions with a 40-line limit. (Perhaps they used to have a lot of those in Provence.)
The greatest thanks to Bob Newman of Volecentral for this.  His site is an excellent resource.
My Example
Forget Me, She Said ( A Sestina)
I forgot to remember you had left.
Your need to grow required that you must go
find space unoccupied.  I neither made
you whole nor satisfied your unquenched thirst.
“Just forget me; go play and have some fun,”
You told me, “You’re a prize for someone new.”
I’d never even wanted someone new
and still did not, once you had really left.
My love for you, I should replace with fun
and sparkle like a dandy on the go.
“Just forget me; let hotties quench your thirst.
You’ll be the grandest catch that someone’s made.”
Attempts to dissuade you were often made
for weeks while you sought something somewhere new.
But only total change could quell your thirst.
And memories were all that I had left.
Without sharia law you’re free to go
and with it, holding you would be no fun.
Then, for my boys, I dated, and had fun.
I was astounded by the progress made
as I was learning dating on the go.
Once my small son asked “Will she be our new
mommy?” At least he’d realized you’d left.
I began courting with a new found thirst.
Forever buoyed by an abiding thirst
for laughs enjoyed when shared, my quest was fun.
I laid my love for you aside. That left
a vacancy and soon fresh feeling made
inroads to my reluctant heart and new
responses sang as guilt began to go.
Your leaving forced me to let my love go
as death could not have done.  So, now a thirst
was normal and not faithless search for new
absolution perhaps just based in fun.
When not allowed to keep the promise made
New love was deemed okay because you left.
The fact you had to go was never fun.
I hope you’ve quenched the thirst inside that made
you leave. I’ve loved in new ways since you left.
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Terza Rima

Terza Rima, “third rhyme”, adapted from the Italian poets of the 13th century is a stanzaic form that employs a pattern of interlocking rhyme. Some connect the form’s origins to the three-lined Ritournel, which was an early Italian form of popular poetry, but others to the Sirventes of the Provencal troubadours. It is most likely the latter because the Tuscan poets of the 13th century tended to emulate the metrical patterns of their predecessors, the Provencals.
Written in tercets of interlocking rhyme known as the Sicilian tercet, there is no limit on the number of stanzas in the poem, however it is difficult to divide without breaking the continuity of the rhyme. It was Dante’s, The Divine Comedy written in 1307, that brought the Terza Rima from folk-verse, to a major poetic form.
• The Capitolo is framed with the same metric, rhyme and stanzaic structure as the Terza Rima. In 15th century Italy when the Terza Rima adopted didactic subjects, it was called a Capitolo but by the 19th century the term Capitolo was used for a Terza Rima frame with a satirical or light subject.
The Terza Rima and Capitolo are:
• narrative and/or lyrical poetry.
• in English usually iambic pentameter but can be written in tetrameter.
• stanzaic, with any number of tercets that interlock by rhyme. The poem is concluded by a single final line that rhymes with the 2nd line of the preceding tercet.
• rhymed in an interlocking rhyme scheme aba bcb cdc ded . . . until the conclusion when the end line rhymes with the 2nd line of the last tercet.
• when written in a satirical tone, is called a Capitolo.
Hand in my Back by Judi Van Gorder
I’ve felt the pure persuasive power of God,
a mighty hand placed squarely in my back
that gently pushes me to tread unshod.
He’s sure and solid, taking up all slack,
reminding me He’s here and He is strong
and I am not alone against the pack.
When I am lost and life is going wrong
the earth beneath me shifts like desert sand
it’s then I seek to hear Him in a song
and feel His hand that seers me with His brand.
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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.
Terza Rima is a chained form with three-line stanzas (tercets). In each stanza, the first and third lines rhyme. The second line rhymes with the first and third lines of the next stanza. There are three different ways of ending the poem:
• a final line that rhymes with the middle line of the previous stanza
• a final pair of lines, both of which rhyme with the middle line of the previous stanza
• a final tercet, using the same rhymes as the previous stanza, but transposed i.e. the last two stanzas rhyme aba bab.
Here’s a short example:
Stranded on Cheam station
Nothing but the tick of the station clock,
And the sound of the wind in the trees
That grow untended between the tracks.
This is the way it will be in the last days.
Machines stand idle with none to work them.
Doors swing and chatter in the breeze.
In a world indifferent, blandly suburban,
Shops open, unstaffed, are making no sale.
Foxes roam free in overgrowing gardens.
Streetlamps stay lit, till the elements fail.
Alarms are all false; no-one is alerted.
Man’s handiwork crumbles into new soil.
Cameras scan blindly, the bypass deserted,
The last ever up-train long since departed.
This precise form and length of terza rima happens to have 14 lines, and is therefore sometimes known as a terza rima sonnet – though some would quibble over whether it was a “proper” sonnet.
We could end it in either of the other two ways if we replaced the final couplet by just:
Cameras scan blindly, the bypass deserted.
or by the tercet:
Cameras scan blindly, the bypass deserted.
Horsetails spread, like the rust on the rail,
The last ever up-train long since departed.
Notable Terze Rime
Dante (who invented it) used this form for the entire Divine Comedy.

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My thanks to Bob Newman for is work on the wonderful Volecentral resouce.
Terza Rima
Type:  Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:  Accentual syllabic or syllabic form written in tercets with an interlocking rhyme scheme. At some point, the poem ends with a single line stanza rhyming with the preceding stanza’s middle line.
At least one soi-disant expert claims that it is usually iambic pentameter and that it ends in a couplet as: yzy zz. But he seems to be incorrect on many of his assertions.
Another variation is ending with a uniformly rhymed triplet: aba bcb cdc…yzy zzz.
Why can’t these poets make up their minds or stick to the original?
Origin:  Italian
Rhyme: aba bcb cdc…yzy z
Meter: xX xX xX xX xX
Rhythm/Stanza Length:  3
See Also:
Capitolo, Enclosed Tercet, Enclosed Triplet, Iambic Pentameter, Sicilian Tercet, Sicilian Triplet, Terza Rima Sonnet, Terzanelle, Villanelle xxx

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My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.
Example Poem:

Second Chance (Form:Terza Rima)

Oh dearest one can you believe that fate
has saved us for each other? Even though
I wanted you, I acted way too late?
When Europe called, with scholarship I know
you had to leave. My duties kept me here,
and let me grieve, still thinking I should go.
Then accident with dad, and duties clear
delayed me; slammed doors. ’til we each were wed.
For both of us our lives were filled with cheer.
New hurts were hurled at both; young spouses dead,
such hateful hurts so thoroughly depriving.
Each now alone, with loneliness ahead.
I found a poem and thru that you–surviving.
You found me, old love, happiness arriving.
© Lawrencealot – January 1, 2014

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Villanelles are required to have an intricate rhyme scheme and two lines that are refrains – like refrains in songs, they get repeated over and over.
The rhyme scheme is AbA’abAabA’abAabA’abAA’, so there are only two rhymes that end all the lines.
In addition, the first line and third line, the refrains, are repeated four times each –
the first line appears at the end of stanzas 2 and 4 and as the second-to-last line in stanza 6.
The poem’s third line appears again at the end of stanzas 3, 5, and 6.
So if we call the first line A and the third line A’, and any line that rhymes with them a,
then the rhyme scheme is: AbA’ abA abA’ abA abA’ abAA’
Example Poem:
Sensuality’s Source
Arousal flows from love’s thought and intent.
Thus age is harmless to this wife of mine.
A tease fulfilled, assures a mates ascent.
Desire for one another will invent
Innumerable paths leading to cloud nine.
Arousal flows from love’s thought and intent.
Performance, age related, has been bent
by years;  her voice and touch revokes decline.
A tease fulfilled,  assures a mates ascent.
A failure now and then she’ll not  resent
If he in other ways her wants enshrine.
Arousal flows from love’s thought and intent.
Endearments overshadow the event
and fill two hearts most willing to entwine.
A tease fulfilled, assures a mates ascent.
Today’s youth may not know how much is meant
by such commitment.  Love makes all things fine.
Arousal flows from love’s thought and intent.
A tease fulfilled, assures a mates ascent.
© Lawrencealot – March, 2012
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