The deibhidhe is an Irish form. In English it is more often spelt deibide, but you still have to pronounce it jayvee. (The Irish language uses a lot of unlikely-looking clusters of consonants, and most of them seem to be either pronounced as “v” or not pronounced at all. Exercise: pronounce the name of the poet Medbh McGuckian.) 
Here’s a deibhidhe about the time I spent working in the oil industry: 

No, Watercolour…

Of a subject dire I sing:
Reservoir Engineering
I could never understand –
A queer and quaggy quicksand!

I was sent away to learn
About it in climes northern,
But while at Herriot-Watt
My zeal did not run riot.

All the years I worked in oil,
My conscience was in turmoil.
I floundered through the fog
Like a bogged-down wan warthog.

My colleagues would make a fuss.
Those strata – were they porous?
It bothered me not a whit
How the drill bit grey granite.

The mysteries of the rock
Made me feel like a pillock.
Underground movements of gas
Alas, my mind can’t compass.

I don’t work there any more,
Redundancy my saviour.
Not a tragedy at all –
A small but welcome windfall!

There was a TV advert for an airline some years ago which featured the following exchange between two passengers on a flight to Aberdeen. Large outgoing American: “D’you work in oil?” Weedy-looking bespectacled Brit: “No, watercolour.” Hence the title. Herriot-Watt University is situated near Edinburgh and offers week-long courses on such arcane subjects as Reservoir Engineering, cleverly sugaring the pill by making them coincide with the Edinburgh Festival.
As for the form, each stanza has 4 lines of 7 syllables each, rhyming aabb, and both of these rhymes are deibide rhymes i.e. in the first line of each rhyming pair, the rhyming syllable is stressed, and in the second it is unstressed.
The form also demands an aicill rhyme between lines 3 and 4 i.e. the word at the end of line 3 rhymes with a word somewhere in the middle of line 4 (as whit/bit, gas/alas above). 
Finally, there must be alliteration between the last word of each stanza and the preceding stressed word (as quaggy quicksand, welcome windfall above).

This amounts to a lot of constraints for the fourth line to satisfy in the space of only 7 syllables. I found this form a tough one, except when writing the last stanza. Perhaps I was getting into the swing of it by then.
Thanks to Bob Newman for his wonderful Volecentral resource site.

Specifications restated:
Isosyllabic: 7/7/7/7

Rhymed: aabb
My example poem

Night Nymph     (Deibhidhe)
I was mesmerized, entranced
when she stood in the entrance.
Just one glance at her’d confer
instantly a pure pleasure
The nymph caused my heart to sing
and set my nerves to dancing
I viewed her in near undress
and dreamed she’d be my mistress.
But it was not meant to be,
this maiden oh so pretty.
for she was gone with the sun
a nighttime visit vision.
© Lawrencealot – April 10, 2014
art by Herbert James Draper [d. 1920]
Visual Template

Ch’I Yen Shih

Ch’i-Yen-Shih metre

This is, believe it or not, a Chinese verse form. Whether it’s worth doing in English is debatable. Stanzas have four lines of seven syllables each, with lines 2 and 4 rhyming. Each line has a caesura, or break, after the fourth syllable; I have laid the example out to emphasise this. That’s all there is to it, really, except that, to make it sound a little more Chinese, only words of one syllable should be used. 
Long straight black road
far from home.
The moon hangs snagged
in the trees.
Foot down, I speed
through the night.
Rain falls in sheets,
starts to freeze.
The cats eyes pulse
like Morse code.
Far sparks speed close,
blaze then fade.
For hours on end
there’s no change:
Road, light, rain, wind,
screen and blade.
I’m tired and cold,
on my own.
How much of this
can I take?
I grit my teeth,
try to guess
How long I’ll last
till I brake.
Thanks to Bob Newman for his wonderful Volecentral resource site
Ancient Verse is probably the same verse form as Ch’I Yen Shih from the Lu Shi code verse. Ancient Verse is found desribed in John Drury’s poe-try-dic-tion-ar-y and is similar to Ch’I Yen Shi, with slight variation. As described by Drury, caesura was not specified and more latitude was given in the character count. This is probably an example of how form evolves or is corrupted by translation. For now I will treat this verse form as separate.
(Drury uses “syllable count”) Technically in Chinese prosody, character count and syllable count are one in the same since Chinese characters are one word and Chinese words are usually one syllable. However in English translation, a character could represent a 2 or 3 syllable English word. I use “character” in most of my metric descriptions of Chinese verse and often count words rather than syllables when attempting to write poems using Chinese verse forms in English. However, since Drury’s book describes the meter for this form as syllabic, I follow his lead.
Ancient Verse is:
  • stanzaic, written in quatrains.
  • syllabic, 5 to 7 syllable lines. isosyllabic (7/7/7/7) or (5/5/5/5)
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme either xaxa xaxa etc or xaxa xbxb etc. ( xaxaxaxa etc or xaxaxbxb)
  • no fixed tone pattern.
  • always composed with parallels and balance.
    pyramid by Judi Van Gorder

  • fresh dug dirt makes space and waits
  • rich earth forms a pyramid
    to welcome polished pine box
    with white roses on the lid
Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for her wonderful PMO resource site.
My example poem
Surveillance       (Ch’I Yen Shih)

My house has eyes in the dark
Big dogs see but first they smell.
I don’t switch them – off or on
still they serve as my door bell.

© Lawrencealot – April 9, 2014

Visual Template



  • The Tanaga is a Filipino stanzaic form that was originally written in Tagolog which to my ear is one of the more musical of languages. (Kumusta ka? Mabuti salam at) The form dates back to the 16th century and has an oral tradition. The poems are not titled. Each is emotionally charged and asks a question that begs an anwer. This form was found at Kaleidoscope.The Tanaga is:
    • stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
    • syllabic, 7-7-7-7 syllables per line.
    • rhymed, originally aaaa bbbb cccc etc., modern Tanagas also use aabb ccdd etc or abba cddc etc or any combination rhyme can be used.
    • composed with the liberal use of metaphor.
    • untitled.

Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO.

My Example Poem


Casually boys contemplate,
Carefully they cogitate,
what will they appreciate
when they’re searching for a mate?

Will she need to cook and sew?
I suspect the answer’s no.
Will she need to use a wrench,
or speak Mandarin or French?

Need she work with quilting thread,
or perform with brush or pen?
I think I’ll say no again-
if she pleases him in bed.

© Lawrencealot – March 3, 2014

Visual Template

Note: For example only I used one of each rhyme pattern here.

Rannaigheacht bheag (ran-á-yah voig)

A traditional Irish quatrain of 7-syllable lines [7/7/7/7] (‘old-school’),
 or 8/6/8/6, ending in 2-syllable words all linked by consonance
(in its old meaning, ‘having the same vowels’),
 with at least two cross-rimes in each couplet
 (can be consonance in first but should be rime in second)
and alliteration in every line, which in the second couplet
 must be between the last two stressed words in each line,
and with the dunedh, of course (ending in the same word, phrase,
 or line it began with).
Poem ExampleRon-a’yach Rhyme

Writing rhyming words, giving
living lines, fit for fighting
biting boredom while living
in style with witty writing.

(c) Lawrencealot – May 16,2012

Visual Template
As with the other Irish forms, a template can show you the syllable count and a bit more, but cannot be definitive as so much variation is possible while meeting the formal  requirements.
In the example below some words not hi-lighted could have been as serving one or more rules.