|The cuaderna vía is a strict Castillian verse form. The name comes from the Latin quadrivium (four ways), referring to the four sciences that constituted the basis of medieval studies. It consists of any number of stanzas that are monorhymed quatrains. Each line contains 14 syllables that are divided into hemistiches of 7 syllables each, often broken by caesura. (The syllable count, which is complicated in Spanish, allows no wiggle room.) In the classic form, the accent falls on the second, sixth, ninth, and thirteenth syllables, but other measures are known. The rhyme scheme is aaaa, bbbb, cccc, and so forth. The rhyme must be true rhyme; no slant rhyme, assonance, or consonance is admitted.
This rigid form dominated most of the serious Spanish poetry in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is also known as alejandrino. The name comes from a seminal poem written in the 12th century called Roman d'Alexandre. Gonzalo de Berceo, considered to be the first Spanish poet known by name, pioneered the form, which is part of the genre known as mester de clerecía.
The name of it is Spanish; the form of it isn't new.
Syllable count in Spanish is tricky to say the least,
Gonzalo de Berceo has rightful claim to the first
Poor Aelia's teeth, we're told, numbered just four at the most.