Ottava Rima

On DVerse today, we are experimenting with a form called ottava rima.

This form has 8 lines per stanza, with the rhyme scheme abababcc. Ottava rima poems can have any number of stanzas; the one that I wrote today has only one stanza, but that’s okay!

As many of my other poems describe, I have struggled with anorexia for several years, and that struggle and what I have been learning inspired today’s poem. It focuses on appearance, body image, and the culture of dieting, though I know very well that eating disorders are about much more than simply wanting to look a certain way, and they are much more complicated than a diet that went too far. Still, I think that the culture today, which focuses so much on external looks and a skewed idea of fitness, contributes to the formation of eating disorders and to the difficulty of letting them go.

Why put our bodies through the hell we do,

Always trying to change the way we look?

My soul’s own house was forced to go through

Untold pain, which nearly took

Away my life, and years to even begin to

Undo the damage: My own self I forsook.

To free you from the same unhappy fate,

Flee, my friend, from comparison and hate.

6 thoughts on “Ottava Rima

  1. I like the message in the last two lines. I am putting my body through a minor hell, or diet (10 pounds reduction) more for health reasons. I think it will be happier afterwards, however, I can see how this could be real hell for some people who are constantly comparing how they look with others.


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