Spenserian Quintilla

The Spenserian Quintilla is an American stanzaic form which was first recognized by Miller Williams in Patterns of Poetry when he notes a Spenserian variation framing The Second Best Bed by Howard Nemerov, he called it the Spenserian Quintilla.

The Spenserian Quintilla is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of cinquains.
• syllabic, L1-L4 are 8 syllables each, L5 is 12 syllables.
• rhymed, axabb cxcdd etc x being unrhymed.

The Second-Best Bed by Howard Nemerov

Consider now that Troy has burned
—Priam is dead, and Hector dead,
And great Aeneas long since turned
Away seaward with his gods
To find, found or founder, against frightful odds.

And figure to yourselves the clown
Who comes with educated word
To illustrate in mask and gown
King Priam’s most illustrious son
And figure forth his figure with many another one

Of that most cremented time
In times have been or are to be
Inhearsed in military rime;
And will recite of royal fates
Until, infamonized among those potentates

By a messenger from nearer home,
His comedy is compromised
And he must leave both Greece and Rome
Abuilding but not half begun,
To play the honest Troyan to a girl far gone.

The wench lived on, if the son died—
All Denmark wounded in one bed
Cried vengeance on the lusty bride,
Who could not care that there would follow,
After the words of Mercury, songs of Apollo.

———— from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov 1977

Pasted from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My Example

Form: Spenserian Quintilla

2nd Thoughts

Thoughts conjured up within my brain
I sometimes think are mine alone
but how on earth does one explain
insights (which I admit are rare)
appearing suddenly (it seems) and from nowhere?

The brain’s impulses it is known
are electrical fields at work,
that’s something that’s been clearly shown.
The magnetism thus invoked
extends to common pools, which maybe I evoked.

© Lawrencealot – January 25, 2015

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Form: Argonelles is composed of an unlimited amount of 5-line stanzas (quintains). The syllable count is 2-6-8-8-6, with line 2 & 5 having the same syllable count and limes 3 & 4 composed of the same syllable count. The rhyme scheme of an Argonelles is : a-b-c-c-b.

a fear of the unknown,
and the thought of waiting in line,
these things send shivers up my spine
when I am all alone.

Pasted from http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1857878-Waiting-in-line-a-terrifying-Thought


I also found at: http://www.rainbowcommunications.org/velvet/forms/

Argonelles: five line stanzas.
Rhyme Scheme: Lines 2 and 5 are the same.
Lines 3 and 4 rhyme.
Syllable count: 2-6-8-8-6

However I am setting forth the interpretation found at Writing.com because
I believe that refrain accounting for 40% of a stroph is a bit heavy.

Specifications restated:
An Argonelles is
Stanzaic: Composed of any number of quintains
Syllabic: with lines of 2/6/8/8/6 syllables
Rhyme scheme: xabba
Meter and theme at poet’s discretion.
If anyone can provide more information, or the name of the inventor please comment.

My example

A Documentarian’s Deed  (Form: Argonelles)

is what I’m meant to do
although it’s not my favorite task.
Why do I do it then, you ask?
I do it just for you.
© Lawrencealot – December 21, 2014

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The Caprice form was invented in a whimsical moment by Mary Lou Healy, aka Mlou on Allpoetry.com.

The caprice is:
Stanzaic: It is a poem consisting of any number of cinquain stanzas
Metered: It is written in iambic pentameter except for L2 of each stanza being iambic dimeter
Rhyme Pattern: ababa cdcdc efefe, etc.

What Meaning by Mlou

What meaning in an autumn afternoon
when the sun, low sinking in the west
goes down too soon,
when breeze that whispered, dear, I love you best,
now sighs the farewell notes of mournful loon?

The chill that rattles every browning leaf
echoes through my blood and stills my bones
beyond belief.
I grudge the ticking clock those mellowed tones,
knowing Time is an accomplished thief.

I fear that falling leaves can’t be denied,
can’t be returned to limbs now growing bare
although I’ve tried.
Those melancholy endings float on air
and mirror my forebodings deep inside.


My example

Community Pup  (Caprice)

What pleasure’s taken when I take a stroll.
My puppy patient; anytime I stop
he plays his role.
For meeting folks, my dog’s a natural prop.
But playing ball with kids is his real goal.

We walk three quarters of a mile each way;
a park with slides and swings is near the school
where dogs can play.
The kids think playing catch with Griz is cool,
so now we do it nearly everyday.

I walk because the doctor said I should
but stopping at the park is just for Griz,
And that is good.
Each day before school starts that’s where he is,
and he’s well-known throughout our neighborhood.

© Lawrencealot – September 6, 2014

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• The Briolette was invented in the 1950s by Viola Berg.

The Briolette is:
○ stanzaic, can be composed in any number of cinquains made up of a triplet and a rhyming couplet.
○ metric, iambic tetrameter.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme aaabb cccdd etc.

 Briolette of India by Judi Van Gorder
The Maharajah claimed it cursed
the diamond cut to quench a thirst.
King Richard, Lion Hearted, erst
would take the gem on his crusade,
a brilliance which will never fade.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1199#dionol
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Shifting Gears (Briolette)

When age starts creeping up on you,
and physical restraints accrue
I wouldn’t quit if I were you
because at that time you will find
untapped resources in your mind.

The mountain trails you used to climb
are now denied – it seems a crime,
but render them to me in rhyme
that’s something which you didn’t do
while you were scrambling for the view.

Without much money in your purse
and your arthritis getting worse
a shared experience penned in verse
extends your life beyond your days
to generations in the haze.

©Lawrencealot – September 2, 2014

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The Donna

  • The Donna is a syllabic Limerick, without requiring the anapestic rhythm. Created by Viola Berg, the verse should be witty and fun.
    The Donna is:

    • stanzaic, written in any number of quintains.
    • syllabic, lines of 8/6/4/4/6.
    • rhyme xabba, xcddc etc.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example Poem
Out at Second Base     (The Donna)
I couldn’t undo her brassier,
and dammit how I tried,
for big boobs need,
they do indeed,
a strap that’s pretty wide.
Exasperated, the girl said,
“Let’s kiss and kiss some more.”
I missed her flesh
but our lips meshed
until my lips were sore.
© Lawrencealot – March 22, 2014
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English Quintet

The English Quintet is a rhymed 5 line stanza or poem. There is no English word for a 5 lines of verse therefore they borrowed the Italian word quintet. Up until the 19th century English poetry was pretty much built on the couplet and quatrain. The English version of the quintet arrived at a time when most English poetry was still being written in iambic pentameter.
The English Quintet is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of quintets.
• metered, most commonly iambic pentameter, although meter is optional.
This is a popular form of Quintain having no set measure or foot
rhyme scheme ababb, cdcdd etc.
Description of form copied and pasted from PoetryMagnumOpus.com http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=670

Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource above.
Line length optional
Meter optional
Poem length 5 lines or multiple
Example Poem
Not a Muscle Car

I earned my dough to buy a car at last.
In ’56 I’d break the geekdom mold.
“No”, said mom “You’ll buy nothing that goes fast.
You’re sixteen and will do what you are told.”
I could afford to buy some car quite old.
A Studebaker, mom thought looked all right.
With white walls it stood proudly green and clean.
It had one after market feature quite
unique, a sequined roof of stars was seen
upon the overhead; girls thought it keen.
It lasted ’til my high school days were done.
Four bits worth of gas could cruise all night long.
The crankshaft dropped so no more could it run.
That happened when I punched it- that was wrong,
and why mom let me buy it for a song.
© Lawrencealot –  December 16, 2012
Visual Template (for Iambic pentameter)


Oddquain: Created by Glenda L. Hand.
Usually unrhymed.
17 syllables in five lines. Syllable Count: 1/3/5/7/1
Oddquain sequences:   poems made up of Oddquain stanzas.
Crown Oddquains: a five stanza Oddquain sequence
Reverse Oddquains: Reverse syllable pattern 1/7/5/3/1

Mirror Oddquains:two stanzas: 1/3/5/7/1   1/7/5/3/1

Oddquain Butterflies: a merged mirror pattern.
Two Oddquains merge but use only one of the 1 syllables in the joining: 1/3/5/7/1/7/5/3/1
Example Poem
Morning Ritual  (Mirror Oddquain)
pour a cup
black steaming coffee
sugar provides food value
and butter fill the English
muffin crevices
then my mouth,
© Lawrencealot – April 9, 2012

MLou Quintet

This form was invented by Mary Lou Healy, aka, MLou at Allpoetry
Each Stanza has the following form:
Line 1, 5 feet;
Line 2, 3 feet;
Line 3, 4 feet;
Line 4, 3 feet;
Line 5, 4 feet.
As many quintet stanzas as preferred,
rhyme scheme: ababa  cdcdc  efefe  ghghg  etc.
Example Poem
My Wife
While I sat pondering, “What shall I write?”
my thoughts turned to my wife.
Of course she is my warmth at night-
adds color to my life,
but still those claims seem much too trite.
Her common sense exceeds one’s proper share.
No problem she has faced
has gone unsolved; now that is rare.
She finds what I’ve misplaced
and tends to all with loving care.
She thinks that even at my age I’m fine,
and though I don’t agree
(I think my faults are still benign)
she does put up with me
and populates my life’s design.
© Lawrencealot – September 24, 2012
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Tetractys, a poetic form invented by Ray Stebbing, 
consists of at least 5 lines of  1/2/3/4/10 syllables (total of 20).
Tetractys can be written with more than one verse, but must follow suit with an inverted syllable count.
Tetractys can also be reversed and written 10/4/3/2/1.
Double Tetractys:  1/2/3/4/10/10/4/3/2/1
Triple Tetractys:  1/2/3/4/10/10/4/3/2/1/1/2/3/4/10
Example Poem
What?  Now?
of the
always want sex.
Women I think, tend to be more choosy.
(c) Lawrencealot – 2013