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Stanzas.

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Written by   52
1 month ago

I am taking a course on how to be a poem writer, and I have decided to share with you through my publications, the knowledge I am acquiring. This way we can learn together.

Articles related to the topic.

The rhyme

Metrics in poems.

Counting the metrical syllables of a verse.

The accent in poems.

Pauses in poems.


It is a set of verses that conform to a certain measure and rhythm constant throughout a poem. We can say that the stanza in poetry is the equivalent of the paragraph in prose. The difference between verse and stanza is that a poem is composed of stanzas (the "paragraphs" of the poem), and stanzas are composed of lines (the lines or lines).  A stanza is the segments into which a poem is divided, each composed of several lines. They are more or less equivalent to prose paragraphs: medium-sized structural units made up of several propositions around a common axis of sense or meaning. In other words, a stanza is nothing more than a variable set of lines, separated from other similar sets by some punctuation mark and a blank space in the poem.

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An important point to mention is that poetry does not limit the number of stanzas that a poem can have, but in ancient times lyric writing was governed by very concise rules, for example, a sonnet is obligatorily composed of four stanzas: two of four lines and two of three, with precise rhythmic and syllabic structures. In addition, currently, there are several types of stanzas, but I will only mention some of them, such as the case of the two-line stanzas that are formed by the couplets, where the rhyme between the two lines corresponds to joy, i.e. a pentasyllable and a decasyllable, comes from the Flemish language. On the other hand we find alleluia, a couplet of octosyllables. As we have already visualized, there are many types of stanzas.

For example, the stanza below has two verses:

"Only your warm heart,

And nothing else."

Federico Garcia Lorca


We can also find stanzas of three verses. These are divided into tercets, that is, three hendecasyllabic verses (or of major art) with consonant rhyme, usually 11A 11B 11A. And tercetillo which are three verses of minor art and consonant rhyme in various schemes. Likewise, four-line stanzas such as quatrain, which have four hendecasyllables (or major art) with consonant rhyme 11A 11B 11B 11B 11A. We find redondilla, which have four octosyllables with constant rhyme: 8a 8b 8b 8b 8a. At the same time, we find stanzas of copla, they show four verses of minor art with assonant rhyme: -a, -a. Finally, there are stanzas of quaderna via, four alexandrine verses with consonant rhyme: 14A 14A 14A 14A 14A 14A. And so on up to 14 verses, or the so-called "series": compositions without a defined stanza, like the romance.

the following stanza has three verses:

"A year from your light, and enlightened.

To the end of its beating, by it,

The weary heart travels on its journey".

Andrés Eloy Blanco

the following, four verses:

"If thus the unconscious soul,

Lord of stars and leaves,

"would be, flaming shadow,

from life to death".

Luis Cernuda

This last example has five verses:

"Las Horas van febriles, y en los ángulos

blond centuries of luck miscarry.

Who pulls so much the thread: who unhooks

our nerves mercilessly,

strings already spent, to the grave!"

César Vallejo


The stanza can be made up of free verses, which are present when there is no rhyme or metrical adjustment. There are also those that are constituted by blank verses, which are originated when there is metric, but the rhyme is absent. The verse is part of poems, hymns and songs. It should be kept in mind that verses are classified by their meter, if they have eight or less syllables they are called "verses of minor art". However, if the metric of the verse exceeds eight syllables, they are called "verses of major art". The stanza is characterized by being made up of two or more verses, it is composed of meter, rhyme and rhythm. It can have free verses, single verses or blank verses.

 Finally, each of the parts into which some poetic compositions are divided is called a stanza. They are made up of a set of lines whose number and measure is repeated throughout the poem, giving it an extension, rhyme and rhythm that are characteristic.  As such, they are composed of verses, and are subject to a series of rules of poetic composition that are related to meter, rhythm and rhyme. We can distinguish them because they are separated from each other as paragraphs. In fact, in modern poetry, however, the stanzas do not necessarily respond to these characteristics, more typical of classical poetry. On the contrary, they can have a different number of lines, as well as different measures, rhymes and rhythms.

Did you know about the existence of different types of stanzas?


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Disclaimer: I would like to let you know that English is not my mother tongue, I may even make some mistakes in the elaboration of sentences in my posts. Feel free to correct me attentively. It will help me in my learning process.


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