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

61 thoughts on “INFORM POETS – LENTO

  1. Once More

    She said she’d never love again,
    Three stabs at her heart had drained her,
    “We” never lasted through the rain-
    She’d wake alone…and close the door;

    Love was dangerous, she gathered,
    Filled your heart, betrayed, then shattered,
    Wove elusive dreams, then withered,
    Killed and maimed and left you bitter;

    By this time she was exhausted,
    Life seemed pointless, painful, weary;
    Sky grew darker, light contested,
    Eyes grew tired, spent and weary…

    He burst into her world like flame,
    To heal her heart and stop the rain,
    He taught her how to trust again,
    Drew her close, chasing doubts away.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2014

  2. Erin, I love how you have adapted the form to the poetry: much better than squeezing the poem to fit the form!

    Lento, slowly, largamento
    Cento composition theft
    Memento of my musical youth
    Divertimento – there’s nothing left.

    Tempo of a bygone age
    Crescendo, diminuendo, up and down
    Rallentando as the days go by
    Sacramento – my time has flown.

    At least giving me a form to work with gives me something to cling on to!


    Come, sweet Shabbos, come again,
    numb is my life without you.
    Some would forsake you now and then,
    dumb, they return anew,

    chastened, chary, and contrite,
    weary of life’s fight.
    Hasten to my side, with fading light,
    near me, brighten this night.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

  4. Non-Consento Lento

    “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” Margaret Thatcher

    ‘Conversation’ of a political nature often works best with some
    moderation. Otherwise, things can soon turn disagreeable.
    Dedication to principle echoes like the beat of a drum:
    Obfuscation is foreseeable.

    In other words, each side totally thinks they’re right.
    Spin is how they get the point across.
    Chagrin is what happens when they don’t win the night…
    akin to each side’s perception that the other is full of dross.


  5. Where I am

    I live as fraternity mother to the brothers
    try and try to keep the calm, keep the peace
    sigh, where else would I be if I had my druthers?
    spy me lounging seaside alone if given a day pass release?

    truth be told, I would decline
    where I am, looks just fine
    youth passes fast, my sons linked forever to my heart line
    share today’s moments, tomorrow off on their own to shine


  7. JUSTICE (lento)

    Bart was a lawyer who had many clients;
    smart, he viewed truth with consternation.
    Heartless at times, he made browbeating science,
    part of a tendency toward obfuscation.

    One day, while he was arguing in court,
    grand noises ensued, a loud, rolling snort.
    Gunfire it was, the ultimate retort,
    and Bart wound up in a police report.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston


    I write poems just for the fun of it.
    Why, you ask, should you have none of it?
    Fie, I say! Enjoy the whole run of it;
    sky is the limit until you’re done of it.

    Sonnets I’ve written, some in a group;
    how I love cinquains when I have croup;
    bonnets of blitzes I write in a loop;
    now I’m creating some hot lento soup.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston


    Stumbled through the daily fog.
    Fumbled dreams have run their course.
    Tumbled down a muddy bog,
    crumbled by a callous force.

    Feeling pain in every heartstring,
    empty vows mean not a thing.
    Reeling, words intent to sting
    tempt me far from where I cling.

    Holding on has lost its pleasure.
    Moulding me to your designs,
    scolding me as tarnished treasure,
    folding me in crooked vines.

    Powers I chose to neglect
    touch the disappearing bliss.
    Hours pass as I reflect.
    Much has changed since our first kiss.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  10. Walt, love the poem and I have to congratulate you for being one of the only people who has ever figured out a way for me to understand the a-b e-f patterns–colored words! Brilliant!!

  11. OK, I’ve tinkered for hours. Time to commit. We didn’t get so much snow, but it’s a beautiful morning here, a chamber music of ahhhhh. I tried to pull a Walt, but didn’t quite make it.

    Eine Kleine Weiss Musik
    (A Little White Music)

    So white the world became today,
    snow gloving trees like evening wear,
    glow of the sun glancing away,
    low limbs slow shake will strip them bare.

    Tracks say night creatures were about,
    and things with wings praise seeds and shout;
    snacks under snow require they scout.
    Grand doubts make us doubly devout.

    A little snow makes all things bright—
    a fiddle tune cardinal red,
    a brittle glaze on wrong and right,
    a griddle’s music, and we’re fed.

    • I’ve read this three times, and will read it some more. It’s a thorough delight, and I can see everything. It’s so good. Thanks.

      • Right you are, Walt. I just wrote until I had little more to say, creating a cup and a half lento almost double crossed 😉 I’ll work on this today.

      • OK, Walt, I reread the directions and now have a triple lento, double crossed, with a double scoop of rhymed ending. Don’t know what that’s called. By the time I finish tinkering with this poem, my inspiration will have melted 😉

        Eine Kleine Weiss Musik (A Little White Music)

        So white the world became today,
        snow gloving trees like evening wear,
        glow of the sun glancing away;
        low limbs’ slow shake will strip them bare.

        Tracks say night creatures were about,
        and things with wings praise seeds and shout;
        snacks under snow require they scout.
        Grand doubts make us doubly devout.

        In silence, air hollow as drums,
        spin snowflakes hissing in their falls
        lending a static swell of hums,
        sending a call to cardinals.

        Just like a symphony at play,
        birds fill white noise tweeting away;
        trust will conduct snow songs’ foray.
        Word flakes swirl in my head today.

        Why is it silence must be filled
        by what we have ready at hand—
        sighs, wings, imagination spilled
        like ink on paper, poems planned?

        A little snow makes all things bright—
        a fiddle tune a bluebird’s flight,
        a brittle glaze on wrong and right,
        a riddle’s lullaby. Good night.


    Crazy from so many flirtation with street drugs,
    Hazy in the upper story, a brainless
    Lazy fool who callS workers “pawns of the Man,”
    Daisy plucker wasting away time: aimless.

    Bill, don’t you think today’s the day to wake up?
    Fill your empty hours with worthwhile things?
    Will yourself to climb out of that deep dark funk?
    Kill the blues and see what a new morning brings.


  13. Afghan Hound

    Black mask, long hair, long head, top knot
    Back of the tail curls ‘round, so cute
    White, gray, brown, golden, black a lot
    Bright, playful, dignified, aloof

    Fine old breed from Afghanistan
    Line bred to hunt and watch the herds
    They’ve high hip bones and run, they can!
    Brave and elegant beyond words

  14. Walt, I cannot get over how well your poem flows. I found this quite difficult.

    A Little Faith

    Stranded on this dark road,
    handed a map I cannot read.
    Scanned it under flashlight, then
    demanded you take the lead.

    Surprised you found a gas station;
    surmised we were not far.
    Realized you always come through.
    Chastised, my silence filled the car.

  15. WAYWARD WIND (lento)

    Breezes are wafting along the barren ground,
    seizing the sands and taunting the desert air.
    We are alone, myself and the haunting sound,
    fleeing from certainty; going, we know not where.

    Maybe the breeze and I will come to naught,
    saving ourselves for rain that will not come;
    day after day we wander, sore and distraught,
    weighing our chances that we will matter to some.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

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