Week Forty-Eight: The Rispetto

Meet the Rispetto

The Rispetto is an old Italian lyric form expressing love or respect (rispetto) for its subject and has many variations. The variation I’ve chosen for my own poem is similar in many ways to the Ottava Rima, another popular stanzaic Italian form.

Key Features of the Rispetto

*Note – These describe but one of many variations of the form

Content: Traditionally expresses love or respect (rispetto) to the subject

Form: Contains one stanza made of eight lines (octave/octet)

Rhyme: ababccdd or abababcc

Syllables: eleven-syllable lines (hendecasyllabic)


An Original Rispetto

My Muse, she sings but softly

My Muse, she sings but softly these warring days
With her harmonious sisters Voice and Verse;
Their chantsongs echoing faint and far away,
Will not reach me here to end this silent curse.
To dark and ancient music, to thund’rous drums,
We used to dance the twilight, shimmer, and hum.
I need their sweet music, their timbre, and tone.
I can hardly bear to sing my voice alone.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Rispetto – Writer’s Digest
Rispetto – Shadow Poetry
Rispetto – Britannica
The Rispetto – Verse Forms


Come back every Friday for a new form!

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Write your own Rispetto and share in the comments!