Coronach

Coronach (wailing together) found in ancient Irish and Scot traditions, is a dirge or funeral song. It is specifically, a woman’s lament, a funeral song “shrieked by Celtic women”. It appears less strict in form than many of the ancient Irish writings. The distinct Irish feature of dunadh, beginning and ending the poem with the same word or phrase, was not practiced in the few examples I could find. Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake includes a Coronach.

The Coronach is:
• commonly written in any number of quatrains, each line 7 syllables (give or take a syllable).
• rhymed, rhyme scheme is either xaxa xbxb etc or abab cdcd etc.
• written without dunadh.

A slave woman’s song by Barbara Hartman 

Ramses rules our newborn sons 
must die tonight by his decree. 
Swords slash small throats, blood runs 
through streets while families flee. 

When, O God of Abraham, 
will you hear these mothers’ cries? 
Our infants, innocent as lambs, 
slaughtered here before our eyes. 

How long, O God, must we live 
and die by a Pharaoh’s whip? 
How much longer can we survive? 
— Take me, now, into your Fellowship.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1176
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

Alternating rhyme quatrain

Alternating rhyme quatrain is a 4 line unit with alternating abab cdcd rhyme which changes from stanza to stanza. These are often found in sequence within an octave. (eg. an octave made up of 2 alternating rhymed quatrains would have a rhyme scheme of ababcdcd vs an an octave with alternating rhyme abababab).
Line length and meter at the discretion of the poet.

To a Waterfowl by William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

Whither, midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler’s eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong
As, darkly seen against the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.

Seek’st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sing
On the chafed ocean side?

There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast–
The desert and illimitable air–
Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
Soon, o’er thy sheltered nest.

Thou’rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
Deeply has sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.

He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1007#alternating
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

This is a very flexible form, I used it for a brevity contest below.

My example

Toadstool Time
Toadstool Time
Toadstools I see
with polkadots.
or could they be
mushrooms with spots?
Noddy might know,
but he won’t say.
Come join him though,
it’s fun to play!

© Lawrencealot – November 10, 2014

Credit art work “Noddy and Big-ears” “borrowed from Google”