A poetic form created by Lencio Dominic Rodrigues, the Lento is named after it’s creator, taken from his first name Lencio and rhymed to Cento, an existing form of poetry.

A Lento consists of two quatrains with a fixed rhyme scheme of abcbdefe as the second and forth lines of each stanza must rhyme. To take it a step further, but not required, try rhyming the first and third lines as well as the second and forth lines of each stanza in this rhyming pattern: ababcdcd. The fun part of this poem is thrown in here as all the FIRST words of each verse should rhyme. There is no fixed syllable structure to the Lento, but keeping a good, flowing rhythm is recommended.

For an added challenge, one may write a four-verse Lento and call it a Double Lento, or a six-versed Lento to become a Triple Lento.

Below is an example of a Lento:

Composed in winter of Two Thousand Five, (a)
Proposed by my dreams, this entire theme, (b)
Exposed now for all to write and have fun, (c)
Supposed to be easy though it doesn’t seem. (b)

Two verses of four lines each you will write, (d)
Do rhyme the beginning word in every line, (e)
Pursue to keep last rhymes in line 2 and 4, (f)
Chew your brain a little, you’ll do just fine! (e)

For a real fun challenge, try the Cross Lento: The cross Lento has been introduced in 2012. The cross lento was introduced to make Lento writing more fun. However, a cross lento is applicable only in cases of double, triple and lento chains, where the rhyme schemes in alternate quatrains are reversed, as seen in the following example:





Night falls upon the lowly,
bright lights fade and shadows creep,
right before they slumber, they slowly
fight their weary eyes to sleep.

Morning sits, a vigil silent; still,
Moon and stars align at will,
warning midnight sprites upon the hill,
soon their lights will die, become nil.

Day will pass in its allotted time,
hay made as the sun shines, lingers.
May the world know night’s toils in rhyme,
saying all that a heart desires. Fingers

curl to grasp the darkened shroud,
mist descends to cover lovers avowed.
Hurl the pall so all can call out loud,
kissed by evening’s shadow so endowed.

© Copyright 2014 – Walter J Wojtanik

For this example, the above LENTO combines aspects of all variations. It is a LENTO, a DOUBLE LENTO, LINES 1 and 3 rhyme, LINES 2 and 4 rhyme, and it is indeed a CROSS LENTO.

For more information on  Lencio Dominic Rodrigues and his LENTO form, visit these sites as well:

Shadow Poetry       Poetry Soup       Allpoetry    

“How to Write a Lento”, an article by Lencio Dominic Rodrigues