History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Poetry Form: Rimas Dissolutas

There’s something of a perception that French forms of poetry are among some of the more difficult forms. However, if you’d like to dip your to into the world of French poetry, the rimas dissolutas form is one that I’ve found a little easier than others. (Weirdly, the name “rimas dissolutas” appears to be Portuguese, rather than French, though I can’t find an explanation for that.)

Rimas dissolutas has no requirements for meter, line length, stanza length, or the number of stanzas, though all the lines should be the same number of syllables. And there should not be rhyming within a stanza. However, the end of each line should rhyme with the corresponding line in subsequent stanzas.  So a rimas dissolutas with three-line stanzas would have an a, b, and c rhyme that crosses the stanzas. (This site illustrates this effectively.) These poems also typically end with an envoi that has half as many lines as the previous stanzas and uses the rhyme of the lines in the latter half (explained as such in the event of an uneven number of lines per stanza).

I like the rhyming across stanzas, as it sounds less “sing-songy” to me than a lot of rhyming poetry. And I’m much better at syllable count than meter, so putting together a rimas dissoultas was a fun bit of rhyming practice without having to worry about too many other things at the same time!

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