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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The Florette, created by Jan Turner, consists of two or more stanzas for either of the two versions.
Version 1 – Quatrain Stanazas
Rhyme schemeaaba , with interlaced rhyme in line four, where syllable eight shares the “b” rhyme.
 Syllabic:           8/8/8/12 
Meter:               Iambic
Version 5 – Quintet Stanazas
Rhyme schemeaabba,  with interlaced rhyme in line five, where syllable eight shares the “b” rhyme.
 Syllabic:             8/8/8/8/12 
Meter:                 Iambic
Sample Poem
Meeting for a Drink     (Florette)While sitting near my fountain, dear
a pretty yellow finch appeared.
When he came by to say hello
it thrilled me much to simply know I wasn’t feared.
He studied me expression wise,
as if the sight was no surprise;
he groomed his feathers, seemed to think,
then bowed to me and took a drink, just we two guys.
© Lawrencealot – November 28, 2013
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