Writing Exercise

by | June 6, 2014 | Writing Exercise | 2 comments

By Ashley Lister

This is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica has to say about the Rispetto:

rispetto, (Italian:: “respect,” ) plural rispetti, a Tuscan folk verse form, a version of strambotto. The rispetto lyric is generally composed of eight hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) lines. In its earliest form the rhyme scheme was usually abababcc. Later, the scheme ababccdd became more prominent, and other variations can also be found.

Here’s an interpretation of the second cited form of the
rispetto that was written for me by an anonymous colleague.

Won’t you tie me to the bed before we start?
At least secure my wrists so I’m held rigid.
You may take my body like you took my heart
I’m motionless and cool but far from frigid.

I’ll surrender to your absolute control
Let me languish in my loved submissive role
Make each punishment seem painful and unjust
I’ll be bound and tied: a prisoner to your lust.

There are other versions of the rispetto. There are heroic interpretations when written in iambic pentameter. I’ve even seen versions written in tetrameter.

The key things to remember for this form are:

1) Regardless of which meter or rhyme scheme you select, retain the strict meter.

2) Have fun.As always, please post your best rispetti in the comments box below. I look forward to reading your work.

Ashley Lister

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.


  1. Lisabet Sarai


    You're making this up, right? ;^)

    Iambic pentameter is much easier. But I'll give this a go.

  2. Ashley Lister

    Can't wait to see what you come up with 😉

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