Writing Exercise - Ottava Rima

Saturday, 11 July 2015

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I'm going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.


 We vow tonight will be an early night
We both have work to do tomorrow morn
But now, before I kill the bedroom light
I plead for you to tend to my hard horn.
The mood is set. The time seems very right.
We’re both fired up from watching hardcore porn
I do those things you tell me you adore
And then I stop ‘cos you’ve started to snore.

The Ottava Rima describes eight lines of poetry set out in the form: a b a b a b c c. These eight lines can represent a single poem or a collection of these stanzas can make up a longer work.

Originally, when it was brought to us from the Italian language, the Ottava Rima had 11 syllables per line. Because this form was then appropriated by English speakers in the 16th century, when iambic pentameter was all the rage, those 11 syllables were reduced to ten. In the following you’ll note that I’ve used some lines with ten and some with 11 syllables.

We did it whilst you cooked a sweet ‘n’ sour
We did it on the table in the kitchen
We did it whilst I read King’s The Dark Tower
We did it whilst you sewed and did some stitchin’
We did it in the bathroom in the shower
We did it even though your crotch was itchin’
On that morning we earned a world renown
To kill time whilst our ISP was down

The Ottava Rima is a lot of fun. It’s been used for a variety of disparate purposes including religious verse, comedy, troubadour songs and dramatic narratives. It’s been used by a host of impressive names including Fairfax, Byron and Burgess. As always, the challenge this month is to use this form to present something erotic.

If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

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