Type:  Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:  An eight-syllable quatrain rhyming abab. A variant on the redondilla.
Rhyme: abab
Line meter: xxxxxxxx
Rhythm/Stanza Length:  4
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My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.


Redondilla Stanza (from redondo meaning round) is one of the most popular Castillian stanzas since the 16th century. It appears to have been the standard for Spanish dramatic dialogue at one time. Apparently experimentation with the form by Ezra Pound brought about a resurgence in popularity in the 20th century.

The Redondilla is:
• syllabic, usually written in 8 syllable lines. (In Spanish an 8 syllable line can vary to 7 0r 9 syllables depending on the placement of the last accented vowel. In English sources suggests trochaic tetrameter.)
• stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. This could also be written in verse form, limiting the poem to 16 lines made up of 4 quatrains.
• rhymed, assonant or consonant rhyme. (Remember, consonant rhyme in Spanish prosody refers to full rhyme in English)The most common rhyme scheme abba. No where could I find a change of rhyme, this would suggest the entire poem is limited to 2 rhymes throughout. Luckily assonant rhyme is not true rhyme which could make it easier in English than if you chose “consonant rhyme”. abba abba abba abba etc.
• called the Serventesio when rhyme abab is used.

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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example poem

Slight Shadows (Serventisio)

Trees provide small shade at night
when the moon is sliver thin.
Shadows fall, obscured from sight
nestled ‘tween the leaves they’re in.

Even stars lend night some light
drifting through the woods again
further filtering it’s right
to dispel the black cat’s grin.

Clouds deny that meager bright
Making graveyard dark begin.
Only feline eyes still might
See enough to find din-din.

© Lawrencealot – August 19, 2014

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