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As a matter of fact, Juan Cristobal Nápoles Fajardo—El Cucalambé—is one of the most emblematic exponents of culture in Las Tunas and the main cultivator of the espinela (after its name in Spanish, it consists of a ten-verse poetical composition) in Cuba in the 19th century.

What is decimal or stanza?

The term décima refers to a Spanish poetic form consisting of one or more stanzas each with 10 octosyllable lines.

Most décimas are composed in the style known as espinela, after the Spanish poet, novelist and musician Vicente Espinel (1544­1644), who in 1591 published 10 ­line-verses of octosyllabic lines with a rhyme scheme.

If virtually unknown to English speakers (Manuel 1991: 87), a substantial body of research and anthologies in Spanish celebrates the stanza from a range of cultural, historical, and musical perspectives.

Décima's Iberian genesis

The espinela form is a logical development of a thousand years of Spanish literary trends. Eight lines are common in proverbs and the refrains of songs and are documented in poems recorded as early as the sixth century (Navarro 1986: 71).


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