April 21, 2014 by KWills

The letter RThe Rispetto Italian form, dating back to the 15th century. The name means “Respect”, and it is traditionally a poem in praise of a loved one. A Rispetto has eight lines (which can be split into two quatrains) with the rhyme ababccdd. All the lines are the same length, either eight syllables or eleven. In English, this usually comes out as iambic tetrameter, or iambic pentameter using feminine endings.

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The Inadequacy of Language
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Can any words describe my dear?
What depths within, what grace without,
How love-in-action makes it clear
That words cannot be set about.

But words are all I have, so please,
Accept the love poured into these,
Forgive that I must tell, not show it,
Your distant, yet devoted, poet.

I took some liberties with the last couplet, using weak endings to make nine syllables instead of eight. It’s still iambic tetrameter, though.


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