This is week 3 in our study of sonnetinas, or “little songs.” Previously we have tried our hands at the Sonnetina Cinque and Sonnetina Quattro. Both of these forms have quite a bit of flexibility within the general framework, and you will find the same to be true for the Sonnetina Tre.
As you might guess from the title, this form is created from three stanzas: 2 quatrains and 1 couplet. It is usually written in iambic tetrameter (8-syllable lines) or pentameter (10-syllable lines). The normal structure concludes with the couplet, making it just one quatrain short of a Shakespearean sonnet. But it is possible to have the couplet in the middle or even at the beginning. Regardless of the order in which the stanzas appear, they are written together, as a 10-line form, with no space in between.
In addition to the placement of the couplet, there is also flexibility in the format of the quatrains. As defined by their rhyme, they can be:
• a series of couplets (aabb)
• alternate line rhyme (abab)
• envelope rhyme (abba)
• partial rhyme (xaxa)
• free verse (no rhyme)
The couplet itself is also flexible. In other words, it may rhyme or not. According to my sources, it can also rhyme with the adjoining quatrain (though to me that contradicts the definition of the stanza). The key is that the couplet contains the theme of the poem. In prose terms, the couplet is like the topic sentence in a paragraph.
If you want to know more about couplets, go to my article on the Sonnetina Cinque.
You may have noticed that the Sonnetina Tre is very similar to the Miniature, another form we have studied. It too is made from two quatrains followed by a rhyming couplet. The difference is that the Miniature has varying line lengths, as specified in the form, whereas all the lines of the Sonnetina Tre are of a uniform length (isosyllabic). The line length is up to you, the writer, but once established, you must use the same meter / syllabic count for every line.
In summary, the Sonnetina Tre is:
- A decastich (10-line poem) written in three stanzas, two quatrains and a couplet, with no spaces between.
- Usually iambic tetrameter (8 syllables per line) or pentameter (10 syllables per line).
- Rhyme scheme options: abab cdcd ee, abba cc deed, xaxa xbxb ab, etc.
Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #30: Sonnetina Tre”