10-line Poem Challenge #9: Copla Real

The Copla Real comes from 15th Century Spain. The name means “Royal Stanza.”

  • It is a decastich made of 2 Quintillas.
  • A Quintilla is a 5-line stanza of 8-syllables with 2 rhyming sounds.
  • The rhymes may be in any combination as long as the quintet does NOT end with a rhyming couplet. Possibilities are: ababa, abbab, abaab, aabab, abbba, or aabba.
  • Whatever rhyming pattern appears in the first Quintilla will be repeated in the second, with two different rhyming sounds, hence: cdcdc, cddcd, etc.
  • Some samples I found were written as a single stanza while others were divided into two stanzas. You may do as you please with yours. My samples below will show one of each.
  • I actually found some contradictory information when researching this form, but I’ll go ahead and present this information, accepting it as the English adaptation of the Spanish form. But make a note that the actual Spanish form may vary a bit from what you see explained here. (For example, one source suggested that the rhyme scheme for the first 5 lines is always ababa, but the rhyming pattern of the second half of the stanza may vary, provided it never ends with a rhyming couplet.)


Below are two samples for you. The first one is written as a 10-line stanza and the second as two 5-line stanzas, but both follow the Copla Real format.

Writing in Rhyme

I love to write verses in rhyme,
Although I don’t it each time.
Some subjects are better when free
To go where they fancy. But I’m
Quite partial to structure, you see.
For rhythm and rhyme make me think,
Consider the words—how they sync.
I rearrange, edit, and wrest
‘Til ready to set them in ink,
When finding, at last, what works best.

© 2017 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Salad for Dinner

Give me salad for my dinner:
Green bell pepper and black olive—
Healthy food will make me thinner—
Onions are a thing we all love.
Thin-sliced mushrooms are a winner.

But first do me one small favor:
Spread it on flat bread with Ragú.
It enhances so the flavor!
Add shredded cheese, and sausage too.
Every morsel I will savor!

© 2017 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved


Dig Deeper

To find more samples and to learn from those who taught me, check out these sites. All links open in a separate tab so you can easily find your way back here.

Poet’s Collective ~ The forms on this website are not organized in alphabetical order, but he does have at least one sample poem for each form, he even has tags for rhyme scheme. He also has a visual template for every form so you can see the rhyme scheme and stress patterns, as applicable. That is extremely helpful.

Sol Magazine ~ This resource covers much more than just 10-line poems.

“Metric Forms from Pathways for the Poet” ~ This is an outline of information from Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977), a book for and by educators. This resource also includes more than just 10-line poems, but it helped to fill in the gaps where my other sources were a bit scanty with their information.

Shadow Poetry ~ This is my favorite resource for learning about poetic forms (and not just the decastich), but I have discovered that there is ever so much more to learn than what I can find here. This is, however, a very good place to start.


It’s Your Turn!

Now it’s time for you to write a Copla Real. If you like variety, this form has plenty to offer, with your choice of six different combinations of rhyming patterns and even a choice between one or two stanzas. So spread your wings and write a masterpiece. Then when you are finished, I hope you will share it with us.

Don’t know how? Follow these simple steps…

  1. Write your blog post.
  2. Optional: Include the tag Decastich Challenge
  3. Include a link to this post in your post so I can find you.
  4. Publish your post.

8 Replies to “10-line Poem Challenge #9: Copla Real”

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