Writing Exercise – the canzonetta

by | April 6, 2014 | Writing Exercise

 by Ashley Lister

 The canzonetta is a lyric poem. It contains varying line
lengths, varying metrical patterns and a refrain.

A typical canzonetta consists of at least two octaves. Each
octave should use a series of alternating couplets and the last line or phrase of
a stanza is repeated in each subsequent stanzas.

The rhyme scheme is:

a b a b c d c D 


a b a b c b c B

Note that the capital letter indicates a repeated line. Does
this sound complicated? Would it be better illustrated with an example?

I think it’s time we
played a game
A game you’ll know from way back when
Get naked and embrace the shame
Although you’re in the lion’s den
You’ll touch your toes, spread both your cheeks
Conclude your prayer and say, “Amen.”
In my domain no other speaks
So close your eyes and count to ten

You hold your breath
and worry hard
Because it’s time to play again
You fear your backside might get scarred
As once perhaps it did back then
You wonder what’s about to come
A sigh of leather and you ken
The pain is aimed right for your bum
So close your eyes and count to ten

You’ll notice here that I’ve gone for the a b a b c b c B
rhyme scheme. My refrain, ‘So close your eyes and count to ten’ will continue
to work through this poem if I go on to develop it into further stanzas. As
always, I look forward to reading your poetry in the comments box below.

Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt



Pin It on Pinterest