“A Summer Ottava Rima” by James Aitchison with Teacher Notes

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The crash of waves is always in the air,

And caravans adorn the crowded shore.

People roast on towels without a care,

Or find new rocky outcrops to explore.

Crunchy crystal sand grows too hot to bear,

Yet we stay: it’s what all Aussies yearn for!

In summertime, this is our golden place;

Then winter comes and banishes all trace.

                                               James Aitchison


The ottava rima is a very rhythmic form of Italian poetry, first written in the fourteenth century.

Lord Byron and William Butler Yeats also used the form.

The rules:

  1. Each stanza has 8 lines
  2. You can create one stanza as a stand alone 8-line poem, or write multiple stanzas
  3. The first six lines have an a-b-a-b-a-b rhyme scheme, capped with a c-c couplet
  4. Mostly an ottava rima is written in iambic pentameter or 10-syllable lines.

Have fun!

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