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Friday, March 1, 2013


The true Huitain is a single verse, eight line poem with eight syllables per line. The rhyme scheme is:


The French form began as the Spanish with eight lines of eight syllables, but it also allowed for the continuation of the poem in additional eight line stanzas. It was even accepted as a form of collaborative poetry with several poets each contributing their own eight line stanza.

The English, with their fondness for iambic pentameter, also accepted ten syllable lines, but to me this strays too far from the original intent of the form. Myself, I stuck to the original, Spanish rules. My example is eight lines of eight syllables each. :-)


She stands alone, wind in her hair,
upon the cliff, above the sea;
for hours she’s done naught but stare,
I wonder, is she even free?
Her prison is not one you see
it has no bars, nor doors that seal,
it’s made of all her mind’s debris
and all the things she used to feel.

huitain, French verse form consisting of an eight-line stanza with 8 or 10 syllables in each line. The form was written on three rhymes, one of which appeared four times. Typical rhyme schemes wereababbcbc and abbaacac. The huitain was popular in France in the 15th and early 16th centuries with such poets as François Villon and Clément Marot.

French/English #1: ababbcbc
French/English #2: abbaacac
Spanish #1: ababacac
Spanish #2: abbaacca

Example Poem

Today's Press Too (Huitan - French/English # 2)

"First get your facts said young Mark Twain,
then …distort them as you (may) please,"
an editorial newsprint tease.
The politicians all do feign
to patiently their points explain,
but facts seem bothersome at best,
when asked details they will abstain.
They give just "views" then let you guess.

Lawrencealot - November 12, 2012

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