There are those who claim the Huitain is Spanish in origin, and others who swear it’s French. What everyone can agree on, is that it’s a simple form revolving around the number eight.
The true Huitain is a single verse, eight line poem with eight syllables per line. The rhyme scheme is:
The French form began as the Spanish with eight lines of eight syllables, but it also allowed for the continuation of the poem in additional eight line stanzas. It was even accepted as a form of collaborative poetry with several poets each contributing their own eight line stanza.
The English, with their fondness for iambic pentameter, also accepted ten syllable lines, but to me this strays too far from the original intent of the form. Myself, I stuck to the original, Spanish rules. My example is eight lines of eight syllables each. :-)
She stands alone, wind in her hair,
upon the cliff, above the sea;
for hours she’s done naught but stare,
I wonder, is she even free?
Her prison is not one you see
it has no bars, nor doors that seal,
it’s made of all her mind’s debris
and all the things she used to feel.