The Italian octave, or: Form verses creativity

Sangeetha & David’s new poetry project

Once upon a time, two poets who’d never met in person spontaneously began writing verses back and forth to one another over the Internet. Their first poetry project took them some nine months: a 100 verse Hyakuin.

Once they’d completed their oeuvre, the two decided to continue their creative journey together; and Sangeetha came up with a fun new idea, which David loved – to explore different poetic forms together, working through the Alphabet from ‘A’ to ‘Z’.

Every week, for twenty-six weeks beginning in January of the year 2022, they would take turns selecting poetic forms beginning with the letter corresponding to that particular week (1=A, 2=B, etc., etc.) and write poems to one another using that form.

David suggested they call their new project ‘Form verses creativity’, and so it began.


I for Italian octave

Sangeetha’s Italian octave

As we drift from dreams into a free fall,
dots of words connect a string of moments
as feelings waft and spritz the air with scent
of jasmine touch and winking stars that call
for beauty in the truth that binds us all
in miracles of human omniscience
woven deep into the poems we sense
in hearts that paint love stories on the wall

David’s Italian octave

Come each morning, dreamselves part as we wake;
tentatively, mortals' feet find firm ground;
though arising portends well-known heartache,
souls find beauty in truth's realm while lifebound;
rejections and failures lead hearts to quake,
still, in challenges deep poetry's found;
through lives embraced, revelations abound
~ ceaseless soulfloat... tempting dreamers' mistake

Italian octave?

Iambic pentameter octave; it is the basis of the first part of the Italian sonnet.

  • Stanza length: 8 lines;
  • Rhyme: abbaabba;
  • Meter: xX xX xX xX xX


Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

10 thoughts on “The Italian octave, or: Form verses creativity”

  1. An Italian Octave is a form that I may try writing. I especially like the rhyme pattern. Thank you for the inspiration!

    I love both poems. Sangeetha’s touching poem is rich in gorgeous imagery. โค David, I found your poem very insightful. I especially like, "through lives embraced, revelations abound ~ ceaseless soulfloat…tempting dreamer's mistakes. โค

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