Italian Octave Notes

Consisting of two Italian quatrains the Italian octave was used by Petrarch in his poetry. Originally there was no set form or line length and Petrarch used it as a basis for his poems including his sonnets. Spenser later formalised it to iambic pentameter with a rhyme schematic of

abbaabba

However, English is not a naturally rhyming language and over the centuries as language and language patterns have changed modern poets simply add two Italian quatrains giving the rhyme scheme

abbacddc

Example

Moonlight by Terry Clitheroe

Moonlight is the bringer of your dreams
Pouring fantasies through the window
With the wind whispering soft and low
Enhancing with its sighs all the schemes
You shall plan in order to win your love.
Seducing him with more simple ways
Oft times in the end much better pays
Ending with promises through all above

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