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Pasmanick 3-96

Dcima espinela--patterns of poetry

Here are graphic representations of the rhyme scheme of the dcima or espinela. The customary manner of showing rhyme patterns symbolically is with letters. Dcima is depicted A-B-B-A-A-C-C-D-D-C-. This is a linear or one-dimensional representation. The use of colors or textures makes patterns stand out, while numbers and letters help clarify the picture. Another useful device is the outlining of the first element of the cycle. The pattern is also shown in four linear cycles (iterations) to reveal visual elements. Finally we can look at the line vertically, reading from top to bottom, as the rhymes appear in poetry.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8






5 6


8 9


9 10

Rhyme and rhythm patterns can be shown cyclically or two-dimensionally as well. Cyclical patterns may be harder to read but have the advantage of being infinitely repetitive. It can be useful to compare the linear and the cyclical versions of a pattern.

10 9 8 7 6

2 3 4 5

Structure--mathematical analysis for students and teachers The structure of the pattern is revealed by reproducing the pattern in various ways, using letters, arbitrary symbols in a grid, and linking blocks such as Unifix Cubes to construct trains. Teachers can help young learners discover: how many different letters, symbols or colors (types) are needed to depict the pattern once. The espinela rhyme pattern uses four types: A, B, C, and D. how many letters total (elements or units) are used in one pattern. Espinela has 10 elements. how many times the pattern is repeated. (cycles) The long linear pattern above shows four cycles. lines of symmetry (geometry). In the linear pattern above, there is no line of symmetry, unless you just look at light (B & D) and dark (A & C) boxes. In that case, there is a line of symmetry between lines 5 and 6. fractional values of patterns. Our example is 3/10 A, 2/10 B, 3/10 C, and 2/10 D. There is also 6/10 darks and 4/10 lights (reduce to 3/5 and 2/5). rules of grouping and possible variations (discrete math). Notice for example that in the espinela pattern each of the four types is used either twice (B and D) or three times (A and C), yet there are never more than two identical types in a row. Note also that the As and Bs appear in the 1st half, the Cs and Ds in the 2nd. There are other ways to hear and depict the espinela pattern, as shown on the next page.

Dcima can also be understood as two redondillas (a popular poetic form with a rhyme scheme of A-B-B-A-) joined by a bridge or puente which does not rhyme itself; rather the first line rhymes with the last line of the first redondilla, and the second line rhymes with the first line of the second redondilla. A B B A

A B B A 3 2 1 3 2 4 1 4 3 1 2 2 1 4 3 1 2 1 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 1 4 2 3

While this pattern could be reproduced on a a single circle, there are in fact two cycles within the pattern-that is, the two redondillas. The diagram at right shows this pattern.

The problem with the above diagram is that it is not truly cyclical. It stops at the second four. This next graphic shows two cycles and is truly a cyclical grapic because the pattern can be repeated endlessly.

The pattern can be simplified by using just two textures (that is, two types); this seems justified because we are working with two redondilla, and the redondilla is an A-B-B-A- pattern (two types). In this version I have shown A dark and B white in the first redondilla, and A white and B dark in the second. This pattern has interesting inverse symmetry.

3 2 1 4 1 2 1

2 3 4

Finally, a verse of dcima can be viewed as two quintillas (a five-line verse) back to back. In this model, the A and B of the first quintilla do NOT rhyme with the A and B of the second; each quintilla is a pattern of its own, appearing in two variations: A-B-B-A-A and A-A-B-B-A. This makes for simple patterns and is true to the feel of dcima in rumba, since many rumbas use dcima-like free verse scheme based on quintillas. Consider the following examples; note that the linear pattern is the same forwards and backwards.


4 3 5 1 2 3