Since I found this form nowhere else, but repeated many times by different poets on The Poets Garret site, I am making assumptions based upon the poems found there.

Specifications Restated:

  • A 9 line poem based upon a nocturnal theme
  • Rhyme Scheme: abacbcdbd
  • Metered in iambic pentameter.

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret, with thanks to Terry Clitheroe.


The word was first used by Christians and was a form of night prayers Later appeared in the 18th century and was derived from the French nocturnal and was usually music inspired by the night and played at evening parties. During that time poetry was also recited.

The painter Whistler used that name in some of his paintings, they also had a night theme, which in turn inspired Chopin to write his well loved Nocturnes.

The Nocturna is basically a nine line poetry form based on the nocturne theme containing three, three line lessons recited during the night. The subject must be nocturnal and it consists of three couplets linked by the rhyme of the centre line;

a. b. a. c. b. c. d. b. d.

My Star ‘Till The Morn

She sang softly like a bird taking flight,
It was then that I fell in love with her.
I wanted to hear her all through the night
Though the radio now plays another song,
I imagined that her voice was pure sugar
Her presence now haunts me all winter long
I close my eyes, because a dream’s been born,
I know I will see her soon this summer
The woman who’s now my star til the morn.

Terry Clitheroe


My Example

Form: Nocturna

Toward Brighter Nights

Attending school and working in the day
I’m occupied, but that’s not true at night.
My lonely longing comes when you’re away.
The moon that gave your lovely face a glow
when on our swing we held each other tight
brings brightness to the frigid fields of snow.
For one more season we will be apart
then your return shall set my ev’nings right
and knowing that allows me to take heart.

© Lawrencealot – February 24, 2015

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