Décima Poetry (or any Poetry) Tips – Rhyming

Rhyming. I’ll say it’s one of the top three things to consider when writing a Décima poem, along with the message, and meter.

(If you don’t know how to write a Décima, click HERE to go to a post on How to Write an Espinela or Décima Poem.)

The word you choose to end one line will determine the wording of the next line because of the need to use a rhyming word.

This might seem simple, just change words if one doesn’t make it easy…but…sometimes you find a word, that could be unusual or less likely to have a rhyme, and it says exactly what you want/need, and it falls at the end of the line. And you are in no way going to change that word. Because Creatives can be stubborn beasts.

The first thing you will probably do is:

  • see if you can rephrase the sentence, still using your keyword, but ultimately what happens is the impact of the word and line is lost. It must be the last word of that line
  • next, you give in and pull out the thesaurus, But the words don’t hold up to your original word. So now you’re back to your original word.

So what do you do?


Decima Poetry Tip image.


Let’s use the word STABLE.

Some rhymes: Able, cable, fable, gable, label, sable, table, and the oft-forgotten Mabel.

Those are good rhymes, and a nice span of categories. But maybe you want more. Here comes my tip, a simple tip that many already use but some just don’t think about or forget to use. Break STABLE into its two syllable sounds.




Stay has a lot of rhyme words. Some would be bay, ray, say, may, clay, tray, play. And those are without looking at rhymezone.com.

Bull has full, pull, and wool. And don’t forget the always useful ‘ful’. There are others but not really ones we would use. We could and probably would now that I said we wouldn’t. Especially if someone’s name would work.

You could have a stable and playful or stable with a sleigh full. But one thing you need to consider is how the pacing will be as the verse is read. If two words are used instead of one at a slow pace, it could sound stilted, awkward. Meter and pacing are so important in Décima poetry, as well as other rhyme poetry.

Here is the first example using STABLE & PLAYFUL.

Soundbite Insanity

Woke up to find stories insane,
telling fables not so stable,
not so harmless not so playful.
Truth abounds, but not from his brain.

It’s all an emotional drain.
I’m to the point of giving in.
Hearing all of this daily spin,
think I’ll click off his real world.
One insult and another hurled,
still, Pres. did lose, Veep did win.

The above Décima is a little on the faster side of pacing for a poem. Not my fastest pacing but fast enough for this. Playful is not an exact rhyme for stable, but using fables with stable in that second line quickens the pace and carries that pace into the next line so by the time you get to the word playful you’re in a good cadence so your ear will be tricked into hearing a very near rhyme. Or at least enough not to notice the difference. This is one thing rappers do with their lyrics. They build up to that near rhyme with pace and a build-up rhyme, at least that’s what I’m going to call it. Rappers are poets telling stories just like other poets, but they rarely get credit for what they accomplish with their rhyming ability.

Soundbite Insanity is not my best Décima. I like writing this style of poetry although I’m still working on my meter and pacing. I mainly like sharing the style because it’s a great style used for writing songs for centuries and it has cultural significance in the Latin communities. No, I’m not Latin, but I love History and learning about anywhere and anywhen.

Here’s a second example using STABLE & SLEIGH FULL.

Jolly Ol’ Masked Man

It’s closing in on the big day,
“Bring the reindeer from the stable,
ready them to pull a sleigh full,”
But Big Red wants stimulus pay.

He begs no mask, the wife says nay,
“That beard’s not enough for the Vid,
so suck it up, and shut your lid.”
The chubby hubby says, “Yes, dear.”
While his belly jiggles with fear.
Pumpkin Spice Latte she’ll forbid?

Jolly Ol’ Masked Man, for me, is a slower pace than the previous example. The lines are longer, creating some space for the syllables. Reindeer helps with this. The word has a little more of a stretch to the way one says it than words like fables. And admittedly I think the title of the poem helps. You know it’s about Christmas and Santa. Although it is obviously going to have some humor in it, you still get into that comfortable feel a moment before beginning the poem.

So many things go into creating rhymes other than the two words you want to rhyme. I’ve spent hours because I’m stubborn enough to want to use one specific word no matter how ridiculous it is when another word would work just as well. But that’s a Creative for you.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

Good Luck and Good Writing Until the Next Tip.


If you don’t know how to write a Décima, click HERE to go to a post on How to Write an Espinela or Décima Poem.

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© 2020 Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.


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