When words fall short, the form will aid
There’s reason for the rhyme and beat
A pow’r exists when sounds repeat
This décima, for one, is made;
my will requires the debt gets paid.
Some hate all form and rhymes seem trite
While others find a fit just right
I write for me – do what it takes
It helps me work through darkened aches
As words impel me to the light
Let’s look at the poetic form known as décima. There are various versions of it, but we’ll start with the version popular in Puerto Rico. It is a 10-liner with 8 syllables per line in the following rhyme pattern:
In Puerto Rico and other parts of Latin America, the decima is often sung and improvised. The form is also sometimes referred to as espinela after its founder, Spanish writer and musician Vicente Espinel. Those who write and perform decimas are known as decimistas or deimeros.