23 July 2012

Our Lost Jungle Poetry Form Challenge: Challenge #4 --- Lento

Welcome to the fourth week of the Our Lost Jungle Poetry Form Challenge! First, another congratulation to the five featured poets from last week’s haiku challenge. This week, we’re moving on to a longer form, and (as promised last week) reintroducing rhyme schemes.

The OLJ Poetry Form Challenge #4: Lento

This week we'll be working with a form known as the "lento." When I first heard about the lento form, I thought it was no big deal; two quatrains (4-line stanzas) with “a traditional rhyme scheme” sounded fairly easy. But, as it turned out, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Defining it

The lento was created by Lencio Rodrigues; you can read his story of the form’s creation here. Here are some basic “rules” for the lento, based on his description of the form:

1. A lento consists of two quatrains (2 stanzas, 4 lines each, for a total of 8 lines)
2. In a lento, the first words in each line of a stanza should rhyme (for a first-word rhyme scheme of AAAA BBBB)
3. The end of the second and fourth lines should rhyme. According to Lencio’s description, it is up to the poet whether or not the first and third lines should also rhyme. So your rhyme scheme might be ABCB DEFE, or it could be ABAB CDCD
4. All the lines “should be more or less of the same length.”

In his description, Lencio specifies each line should also “stand on its own”; however, I think (especially for our purposes) the second part of this stipulation can be taken loosely (particularly since in the example he initially provides I’d say each line doesn’t really stand on its own).

Doing it

This challenge is a journey we’re taking together, since I’ve never really played with the lento myself! For this challenge, write at least two lento. Follow the rules for one, and for the second play with the form any way you’d like --- you might change up the rhyme scheme, or use extremely slanted or association rhyme (an example of an association rhyme would be rhyming “chamber” with “doom” because the actual rhyme is “room” but chamber sounds better). You might break up your lines a little differently than the form suggests. You might write a “double lento” (basically two lentos put together). Have fun with it.

Fun it up!

Don’t forget to share your attempts in the comment box below, share a link to a blog post on your own site with your attempt, or email them to ourlostjungle@kharahouse.com. Remember, to be featured on Friday, you need to have your submissions sent no later than 10pm (EDT) on Thursday (7-26)!

Good luck!

Here’s my attempt at the lento form:

She Poet

When I was just a little girl
Often I would sit and wonder why
Men seemed to get the glory of the
Pen with words that made the women cry.

Inside I knew that I could be the
Pride of every poet’s glistening
Eye if, even as softer sexed, I
Tried to keep the whole world listening.


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Get caught up with the Our Lost Jungle Poetry Form Challenge!


  1. Here's my Lento.


  2. Here's mine and I want to know how to make that clickable version with the hyperlink.
    Misk, do you use Live Journal to do that?


    1. You can use basic HTML in comments here ... it's the "a href=" format to attach a link to text. Here's a little tutorial and how to do it :)

      "How to Make a Link"

    2. Khara has the right method for doing this. I just write the code manually. check out the link that Khara's put here. :)

  3. Fun form. I've never tried it before either. Here is Shush and Drift

  4. Subitting by blog post this week: http://mapoetpoems.blogspot.ca/2012/07/poetry-form-challenge-lento.html

  5. Here's mine. I combined Lento and linked to dVerse's Balance prompt, too... hope it brings some people over.



Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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