Break upon his Tomb – a rispetto

Hi everyone,

The form I chose for this week’s poetry video was Rispetto; a short form comprised of 8 lines, 11 syllables each. The form is Italian as you might have guessed. It comes from the 14th and 15th Centuries, in Tuscany. The word rispetto means respect, so I decided to go with a more sombre, thoughtful subject of someone in mourning.

Image by Tom Wheatley via Unsplash

Rispetto was a popular form of poetry in Sicily and Tuscany at the time, with poet and humanist, Poliziano writing over 200 of them. Lorenzo De Medici also wrote them.

It has a strict rhyme scheme and meter but I’ve never been any good with the latter. I’ve never managed to figure out what iambic pentameter (or tetrameter as the rispetto is supposed to have) actually looks and sounds like. As a result, I tend to just try and make things sound as right as I can get them.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

Break upon his Tomb

Breaths that whisper through the gaps among the leaves,

Songs of sorrow linger long beyond the pains,

Visions of one long lost over which she grieves,

Melancholy stillness that stubbornly remains.

Memories plague her nightly; steal away all hopes,

Paths to joy become most steep and stony slopes,

Dawn brings scant relief to unrelenting gloom,

And April’s fresh breeze; it breaks upon his tomb.


Thanks for reading. You can check out more of my poems by clicking the links below.



Dust Gathers – a triolet

Until the Day – A Virus Villanelle

Lockdown – a poem

The Devil Breathed Out- a poem

Chord Progression – a poem

3 thoughts on “Break upon his Tomb – a rispetto

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