The espinela is a Spanish poetic form with two stanzas and four end rhymes across 10 lines. It’s named after poet Vincente Espinel, who is credited with inventing it. Here are the guidelines:
- First stanza has four lines.
- Second stanza has six lines.
- Eight syllables per line.
- Rhyme scheme is abba/accddc.
If it feels like you’ve heard these rules and tried an espinela before, it’s likely that you have (on this very blog even). That’s because this form is also known as a decima! The only difference I’ve noticed between the rules on that post and this one is that we break up the 10 lines into two stanzas instead of one.
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Here’s my attempt at an espinela:
sweet sorrow, by Robert Lee Brewer
i want to let her remember
but i can’t make anyone care
about an old picture or chair
that represent past decembers
our shared lives are now just embers
glowing hot but not much longer
for she thinks i’ve somehow wronged her
or maybe it is just the world
and our shared past has just unfurled
in a way that just grows stronger