Because the décima had its start in Spain, much of its early history is in Spanish and unfortunately I only took one year of Spanish in high school. :-)
For the Spanish in the 14th and 15th centuries, the décima was a term used to describe any 10 line stanza. The form was developed by Vencinente Espinela into a verse form and was commonly referred to as “the little sonnet.”
The décima was also one of the most popular song forms in fifteenth-century Spain and has had a very strong presence in Latin America (Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico), where it is still commonly heard. While the décima refers to a ten-line stanza of poetry, the song form generally consists of forty-four lines (an introductory four-line stanza followed by four ten-line stanzas).
The décima deals with a wide range of subject matter, including themes that are philosophical, religious, lyrical, and political. Humorous décimas typically would satirize an individual's weakness or foolish act. A decimero (someone who creates a décima) would frequently challenge the target of the satire or his/her defender to respond in kind with a décima, thereby setting up a song duel that tested the originality and wit of contending composers.
The structure and rhyme scheme of the Décima looks like this:
While a modern décima may have any number of stanzas, I chose to stick to the original “little sonnet” format of a single, ten line stanza.
Skin still warm from the summer sun
Glimmering in the fading light
Waiting until the moment’s right
Waiting until the day is done
Waiting for that special someone
The touch, the taste, the feel of him
The bending to another’s whim
Anticipation building slow
Reach the peak and then overflow
The moment caught, too soon to dim.