Rubai – Rubaiyat – Interlocking Rubaiyat

Rubāʿī” (رباعي) is a poetry style, the Arabic term for “quatrain“. It is used to describe a Persian quatrain, or its derivative form in English and other languages. The plural form of the word, rubāʿiyāt (رباعیات ), often anglicised rubaiyat, is used to describe a collection of such quatrains.[1]
There are a number of possible rhyme schemes to the rubaiyat form, e.g. AABA, AAAA.[2] In Persian verse, a ruba’i visually contains only four lines, its rhyme falling at the middle and end of the lines.
The verse form AABA as used in English verse is known as the Rubaiyat Quatrain due to its use by Edward FitzGerald in his famous 1859 translation, The Rubaiyat of Omar KhayyamAlgernon Charles Swinburne, one of the first admirers of FitzGerald’s translation of Khayyam’smedieval Persian verses, was the first to imitate the stanza form, which subsequently became popular and was used widely, as in the case of Robert Frost’s 1922 poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening“.
A single quatrain is a Rubai, several together are a Rubaiyat, linked by the stanza’s un-rhyming line they become an Interlocking Rubaiyat
Interlocking Rubaiyat
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
A rubaiyat with interlocking rhyme. Quatrains composed of decasyllabic lines with rhyme scheme aaba bbcb ccdc … zzaz.
Attributed to:
Ghiyath al-Din Abu’l-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nisaburi al-Khayyami
A three stanza interlocking rubaiyat would be:




My thanks to Ron Newman at Volecentral for this information, his site is a wonderful resource.

Example Poem

Free Agent  (Rubaiyat)

Testosterone Tom was a monstrous man
raised in the arctic where caribou ran.
When he ate there weren’t left-overs;  Tom had
never heard of baseball, bagels, or flan.

Like a fish to an aquarium  sent,
or a monkey to a zoo, our Tom spent
his first weeks in Maine looking for control.
Slowly festering smarts would now augment.

Tom learned of the NFL, why quibble.
For this quest he had no need to dribble.
For his size there was no counter-balance,
We’ll not divulge teams taking a nibble.

     © Lawrencealot – December 29, 2012

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