What is Copla; definition, features and examples

The Spanish term ‘copla’ means ‘couple’. In prosody, it is a couplet, strophe or stanza. A metrical combination of great antiquity which has been used by many Spanish poets and still is.

There are various kinds of copla, for instance, copla de arte mayor, copla de pie quebrado, coplas de calainos (meaning ‘useless’, from the character of Calaínos in the Spanish books of chivalry), and coplas de ciego (literally ‘blind man’s coplas’ and therefore bad verses).

Generally, the copla will be of four octosyllabic lines assonanced in pairs. But it can also be rhymed and may have a length of eleven or twelve syllables; or again octosyllables may alternate with heptasyllabic. It may consist of three, four, five, or even more lines and is found in the villancico, the redondilla, the quintilla and sextilla.

Also read; Definition of Couplet, Triplet and Quatrain and its examples