Ottava Rima

Italian poets developed ottava rima poems in the 14th century. Ottava rima began as epic poems about religious or heroic subjects, but later there was an about-face, and the poems began mocking these concepts.

Ottava rima poems have one or more eight-line stanzas (octets), with 10 or 11 syllables per line. The rhyming pattern is similar to that of a sonnet.

a – b – a – b – a – b – c – c …

d – e – d – e – d – e – f – f …

g – h – g – h – g – h – i – i …

(There is no limit to the number of stanzas an ottava rima can have.)