Cywydd deuair hirion

Cywydd deuair hirion ców-idd dyé-ire héer-yon (long-lined couplet), the 10th codified ancient Welsh Meter, aCywydd, alternates rhyme between rising and falling end syllables. 

The Cywydd deuair hirion is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of couplets.
• made up of 7 syllable lines,

rhymed, the rhyming syllables traditionally alternate between stressed and unstressed. (“flow” and “follow” might end two consecutive lines, the stressed syllable of flow rhymes with the unstressed syllable of follow). This is contrary to English wherein rhyme normally comes from the stressed syllable.


The wild wind and rain suppress 
the dancing leaves in darkness.
—Judi Van Gorder

Artist Eyes by Stephen Arndt

Groups of stars—bare skeletons— 
We name as constellations 
And flesh them out to full shapes 
To fill our nightly skyscapes. 
Children watching clouds divine 
Animal shapes in outline; 
Hikers eye from heights they’ve won 
Forms in a rock formation; 
In leaf shadows we discern 
The makings of a pattern. 

The groups we perceive as things 
Depend upon the groupings. 
We try to connect each dot, 
Spot figures in an inkblot, 
And though we may not concur 
Or see things in like manner, 
Still, it seems that we are bent 
On finding form in content— 
From children to scientists 
We all have eyes of artists.

Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

Note: Wrenched rhyme is rhyming a stressed syllable with an unstressed syllable.

My example

The Guitarist (Cywydd deuair hirion)

He could make his guitar sing
when time he was a-wasting.
His tunes were cheered on by men
and memorized by women.

© Lawrencealot – November 25, 2014

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Cywydd deuair hirion


Casbairdne (koss búyer-dne):
Each stanza is a quatrain of seven syllables. Lines two and four rhyme and lines one and three consonate with them. There are at least two cross-rhymes* in each couplet. In the first couplet, this isn’t necessarily exact. The final syllable of line four alliterates* with the preceding stressed word.

x x b x (x x ac)
x a x x x (x bc)
x x x b (x x dc)
x x c x x (x bc)

Dying II

In death comes dust’s solution.
A truth to breath- inclusion;
small particles’ pollution
in loss of cause- collusion.

Thin dry threads still intertwine,
fill failing eyes- unconfined;
as whispered wings recombine
the swirling realms- reassign.

©Leny Roovers 05-10-2004

Pasted from

The Casbiardne (koss búyer-dne) is bruilingeacht, a modified dán díreach, an ancient Irish Verse Form which uses consonant rhyme and cross internal rhyme. 

The Casbairdne is:
• written in any number of quatrains,
• syllabic each line has 7 syllables.
• composed with L2 and L4 end rhyme and the end words of L1 and L3 consonate with the rhyme of L2 and L4
• often written with at least two internal cross rhymes in each couplet. (the 1st couplet near rhyme OK)
• composed with 2 words alliterated in each line.
• written with the final syllable of L4 alliterates with the preceding stressed word.
• written with the defining features of most Celtic poems, cywddydd (harmony of sound) and dunadh (ending the poem with the same word, phrase or line with which the poem began) Irish Verse Forms

capital = true rhyme / lower case = near rhyme / italics = consonant rhyme
x x a x x x b
x x x b x x A
A x x x x x b
x B x x x a A

Laughing in Fall Colors by Judi Van Gorder
Tall and golden stalks of wheat,
wet meadow painted for fall,
squall of autumn Earth whirls wit,
fae fit for a season’s scrawl.

Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.


Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Isosyllabic, Stanzaic
Description: Pronounced coss-BUYer-dne, this is an Irish syllabic form. The verse is a quatrain composed of seven syllable lines. Beyond that, the form gets rather messy.
• These lines have trisyllabic endings. (Rhymes go across three syllables: higgledy, piggledy, but usually real words)
• Lines two and four rhyme.
• Line one consonates with two and three consonates with four.
• There are at least two cross-rhymes per couplet, although they can be off true in the first couplet. These cross-rhymes might appear anywhere between the second and fourth syllables. (As indicated in the schematic by the italicized letters.)
• The final syllable of line four alliterates with the preceding stressed word.
• Like most Celtic forms, the end should be the beginning in syllable, word, phrase, or line. (See Dunadh link below.)
My thanks to Professor Lewis Turco for clarifying this definition.
Origin: Irish
x x b x (x x ac)
x a x x (x x bc)
x x x b (x x dc)
x x c x (x x bc)
Rhythm/Stanza Length:

Pasted from
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.

Casbhairn or Casbairdne (koss búyer-dne) is a traditional Irish quatrain of 7-syllable lines ending in 3-syllable words, its old form (followed here) requiring it be rimed aabb (last syllables properly rimed, the other two syllables slant-rimed), with cross-rimes in each couplet (near rime okay in first couplet) and alliteration in every line (always between end-word and preceding stressed word in the second couplet). Being Irish, it requires the dunedh, that is, to end where it began (first word, phrase, or line repeated in closing).  The modern specs differ, as can be seen here:

They Just Wouldn’t Stay Still
-by Venicebard (Gary Kent Spain)

Mortimer the mortician,
Bored, became a beautician.
Yet, scared by his scrutiny,
Dared many to mutiny.

Where others might mollify,
He didn’t quite qualify.
Hence he served them certainer:
Murdered them did Mortimer.

Pasted from–They-Just-Wouldn-t-Stay-Still—Casbairdne–by-venicebard

My example

Medicinal Music (Casbairdne)

Melanie self-medicates
moreover she meditates,
and contemplates certainly
with cerebral certainty.

Hating to act harmfully
she gets high on harmony
finding that’s no felony
she’s mild, is our Melanie.

© Lawrencealot – October 8, 2014

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(Old style)


Anacreontic Ode

The Anacreontic Ode is proof that an ode need not be long and lofty. The Greek poet Anacreon often wrote odes in praise of pleasure and drink, a Dithyramb or Skolion. Often the odes were made up of 7 syllable, rhymed couplets known as Anacreontic couplets. Some of Anacreon’s poems were paraphrased by English poet Abraham Cowley in 1656 in which he attempted to emulate Greek meter. The main concern of several 17th century poets was that the poem avoid “piety” by “Christian” poets who would tame the spirit and make the form worthless. Although the Anacreontic Ode has been defined as a series of Anacreontic couplets, Richard Lovelace’s The Grasshopper is thought to be a translation of an Ode by Anacreon, it does fit the subject matter but the translation is written in iambic pentameter quatrains with alternating rhyme.

The Anacreontic couplet is named for the ancient Greek poet Anacreon who tended to write short lyrical poems celebrating love and wine, a genre known as Dithyramb. By 1700 English poet John Phillips defined the form to be written in 7 syllable rhyming couplets.

The Anacreontic couplet is:
○ stanzaic, written in any number of couplets,
○ preferably short. The Anacreontic Ode is often made up of a series of Anacreontic couplets.
○ syllabic, 7 syllables for each line.
○ rhymed. aa bb etc.
○ composed to celebrate the joys of drinking and love making. Some Anacreontic verse tends toward the erotic or bawdy.

Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO site. It is a wonderful resource.

Other Odes: Aeolic Ode, Anacreontic Ode, Choral Ode or Pindaric Ode or Dorian Ode,
Cowleyan Ode or Irregular Ode, Horatian Ode, Keatsian or English Ode, Ronsardian Ode

Thematic Odes:
Elegy, Obsequy, Threnody Ode
Elemental Ode
Genethliacum Ode
Encomium or Coronation Ode
Epithalamion or Epithalamium and Protholathiumis
Palinode Ode
Panegyric or Paean
Triumphal Ode
Occasional Verse

My try at this form:

Elbow Tango  (Anacreontic Ode)

Come and share with me a brew,
or better yet more than two.
Drink in smiles before you go
exercising your elbow.
We can sit on stool or bench,
drink and flirt with serving wench
with fine limbs and rounded ass-
her charms grow with every glass.
Likely, we’ll go home alone
but fine memories we’ll own.

© Lawrencealot – August 13, 2013

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Anacreontic Ode

Cyrch a Chwta

Cyrch a Chwta
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
(kirch a choota) An octave of seven-syllable lines rhymed aaaaaaba with cross-rhyme of b in the third, fourth, or fifth syllable of line 8.
Rhyme: aaaaaaba
Meter: xxxxxxx
xxbxxxa or xxxbxxa or xxxxbxa
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his fine Poetrybase resource.
Example Poem
My Tree     (Cyrch a Chwta)
My dad went to war, but he
took time first to plant a tree
when I was a baby, wee.
Dad never came back to me,
he perished when I was three.
I learned of him at mom’s knee
That tree gave shade, let me swing.
That’s something dad knew would be.
© Lawrencealot – April 24, 2014
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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]
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  • 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

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

Rannaigheacht mhor

Rannaigheacht mhor (ron-á-yach voor, the ‘great versification’) is an ancient Irish quatrain using 7-syllable lines with 1-syllable end-words rimed ababa-rime can be assonance, but b-rime must be rime, here meaning perfect ‘correspondence’ or Comharda, in which consonants of the same class (p-t-k, m-n-ng etc.) are interchangeable—plus alliteration in every line—preferably between end-word and preceding stressed word (always thus in each quatrain’s closing couplet)—with at least two cross-rimes per couplet (assonance okay in leading couplets), one being L3’s end-word rimed within L4.  Being Irish, it requires the dunedh(first word, phrase, or line repeated in closing).  Each quatrain, as well as each leading couplet, must be able to stand on its own.
Modern specs for this form are given here:
Great Versifiers
Men sometimes are dreamers, lost,
lust-driven schemers who, when
hunting, deceive.  With trust  tossed
at great cost; none believe men.

(c) Lawrencealot – May 16, 2012

No template can be more than a rough guide, but here one is:
Note here, I failed to use proscribed alliteration in the final line! Damn.
And upon sober review I find that this fails also, in that the first
couplet cannot stand alone.  Someone competent, please provide me with a perfect example.  I shall replace this.

Serenity Refrain

This poetry form was created by SerenityNChains, aka Billie Jean Murchinson.

It is a stanzaic poem, with six 5-line stanzas.
It is syllabic, requiring 7 syllable per line.
Rhyme Scheme: aabba
Refrain: Line 1 slides down another line in each stanza, and then the first stanza is repeated as the closing stanza.
There is no metric requirement other than a comfortable flow with accented rhyme.

Example Poem:

Fallen Friends

Some friends fall by the wayside
not retained ‘cus neither tried.
Other are just yanked away
outside factors having play,
wanted contact is denied.

By where they’re forced to reside
some friends fall by the wayside.
Some take tracks we do not choose,
then both opt, a friend to lose
when friend’s  stance we can’t abide.

A dear few we never lose.
Their advice we always use.
Some friends fall by the wayside.
A fact we just take in stride.
Their influence we excuse.

Friends so close we won’t let go.
We write and call; friendships grow.
Some friends might become our bride.
Some friends fall by the wayside.
Friends we keep make our lives glow.

I still recall that I cried.
when I learned a young friend died.
A treasure I felt I’d lost
when he was chilled by death’s frost.
Some friends fall by the wayside.

Some friends fall by the wayside
not retained ‘cus neither tried.
Other are just yanked away
outside factors having play,
wanted contact is denied.

(c) Lawrencealot – August 16, 2012

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