Nibelungen Strophe 

The  (Middle High German) or Kurenberg Verse (Norse) is a stanzaic form named for the metric and lyrical structure of the 13th century Germanic, Norse legend of the Burgundians sometimes known as Nibelung hoard. It tells the story of their royal geneology, adventures and antics. It is epic poetry
The NibelungenStrophe (Middle High German) or Kurenberg Verse (Norse) is a stanzaic form named for the metric and lyrical structure of the 13th century Germanic, Norse legend of the Burgundians sometimes known as Nibelung hoard. It tells the story of their royal geneology, adventures and antics. It is epic poetry. One of the kings was a dwarf and is so portrayed in Richard Wagner’s opera, “der Ring des Nibelungen”. The name Niblung has become associated with a dwarf or a legendary race of dwarves.
The defining features of the Nibelungen Strophe are:

  • metric, accentual, long lines or Germanic lines, which are made up of 2 hemistiches, or short lines referred to as Anvers and Abvers.
Anvers, is the first hemistich or short line which always has 4 strong beats or stressed syllables. Usually ends with a feminine or falling syllable. Abvers, is the second hemistich or short line in all but the last line of the quatrain and usually carries 3 strong beats or stressed syllables ending in a rising or masculine end rhyme.
  • stanzaic, written in quatrains made up of 2 complete and closed couplets.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme of the Abvers or 2nd short line is aabb ccdd etc. Only occasionally does the 1st short line or Anvers carry rhyme at the caesura.
  • composed with the last line of the poem written in 2 Anvers. In other words the poem almost always ends with a feminine or falling end syllable.
xX xX xxX xXx , xxX xX xAxxX xX xX Xx , xX xxX xAxX xX xX Xx , xX xX xB
xX xX xX Xx , Xx xX xxX Xb
anvers , abversanvers , abversanvers , abvers 
anvers , anvers

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

German and Austrian Poetic Forms:

Bar Form, Dinggedicht, Goliardic VerseKnittelvers, Minnesang, Nibelungen, Schuttelreim

Visual template
For those wanting to give this a try. I’ll pass having no knowledge of the subject to inclination to pen an epic.

Nibelungen Strophe


Décima, Décima Espinela, Espinela, the Décima Italiana and the Italian Décima Rima

  • Décima is a Spanish term of the 14th and 15th centuries referring to any 10 line stanza. In the 16th century, the poet adventurer Vencinente Espinela developed the Décima into the verse form of today the Décima orDécima Espinela or simply Espinela . By whatever title, it is commonly referred to as “the little sonnet”. 

    The Décima or Décima Espinela or Espinela is:

    • stanzaic, written in any number of 10 line stanzas.

    • syllabic, 8 syllables per line.

    • rhymed, abba : accddc . The colon represents a pause, therefore L4 should be end stopped.

    • composed with the 7th syllable of every line stressed. (This is probably easier to do in Spanish than in English.)

    • variable. There is a variation of the Espinela that is written in 12 line stanzas rhyme abba : accddcxd, x being unrhymed.


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

My example

Turkey Gaffe (Décima)

My dad had a quirky turkey
that was thin as macaroni,
very skinny, and quite bony;
so dad turned him into jerky.
Dad’s neighbor thought that was quirky,
deemed all birds were meant for roasting,
all marshmallows meant for toasting,
what’s not fried was meant for baking.
Dad’s jerky he was forsaking
at the luncheon he was hosting.

© Lawrencealot – November 29, 2014

Visual template

Deachnadh Mor

Deachnadh Mor


Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic


Supposedly pronounced da-GNAW-moor, this is a complex Irish syllabic form. Here are the rules:

  1. The form is a stanzaic quatrain form.

  1. Lines one and three have eight syllables.

  1. Lines two and four have six syllables.

  2. The lines have di-syllabic endings, meaning the last two syllables are both involved in the consonation.

  1. The stanza consonates in an alternating (abab) pattern.

  1. There are at least two cross-rhymes in each couplet.

  1. The final word of line three rhymes with a word in the interior of line four.

  1. The internal rhyme in the first couplet can consonate instead of true rhyme.

  2. In the second couplet, rhymes are exact.

  3. Two words alliterate in each line.

  4. In line four, the final word alliterates with the previous stressed word.

  5. The poem (not the stanza) should end as it began, with a word, phrase or line the same. (Dunadh)

Obviously, with so few syllables packing so many forms of binding, it will probably be that each syllable will participate in multiple ways. One syllable might be alliterative internally, rhyming within the couplet, and consonating with the alternate line. This is not a form for beginners, and works much better in other languages, such as Gaelic. To the ancient Celts, poetry was magic. Their forms are very complex to keep the magic among the priestly (Druidic) classes. One of their poets often had the equivalent in study to a doctoral degree in our society.








(aa) = Di-syllabic consonation.
(bb) = Di-syllabic consonation.
á = True rhyme.
c, d = true rhymes or consonations binding the couplet.
e, f = true rhymes binding the couplet.

This schema does not show the alliteration.



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


Restated specifications:

Begin the poem with a two-syllable word, which will become the poem’s final word.
L1-5 (Line one syllable 5) must R/C (rhyme or consonate with L2-2.
Two words in line should alliterate.
L2-4 must R/C with L1-2. Two words in line should alliterate.
L3-2 must true rhyme with L4-4. Two words in line should alliterate.
L3-5 must true rhyme with L4-2. Two words in line should alliterate.
L4-3 must true rhyme with L3-8. Two words in line should alliterate.
Final Stanza.
The last word must be the first word of Stanza 1,
therefore will determine the end-rhyme for L2 and L4.

Venicebard – Okay, here comes some tough love. You’re missing the aicill rime (end-word rimed with word within following line) in the second couplet. Also, I’m afraid when modern specs (for Irish forms) speak of ‘consonance’, they actually mean assonance (the two words were considered equivalent a half century ago, except perhaps in the technical speech of linguists), though today the technical meaning is agreement of more than one sound (can include vowel). The cross-rimes in Dan Direach allow assonance in cross-rimes of first couplet of quatrain. Full rime in Irish, of course, itself allows substitution of like-sounding consonants (p-t-k, etc.) (By the way, this form is so close to the modern specs for Rannaigheacht Bheag as to be suspect.) It is in the Welsh forms (and proto-Welsh measures) that consonance in its modern technical meaning is utilized extensively, but the specs for Irish forms given in John O’Donovan’s A Grammar of the Irish Language show that it was what we call assonance that was called for where the modern specs tend to say ‘consonance’. (Many Irish poets themselves may be unaware of this, however, not having looked into the history of their tradition, and indeed I have only the one source to go by so far, more or less.) -Gary Kent Spain, posting as Venicebard on Allpoetry.

Visual template

Deachnadh mor

Deachnadh Cummaisc

Deachnadh Cummaisc and Deachnadh Mor are ancient Irish Verse Forms that use consonant rhyme, not true rhyme. (easier said than done.)
• The defining features of the Deachnadh Cummaisc are:
○ written in any number of quatrains.
○ syllabic 8-4-8-4 or 8-4-4-8
○ written with consonance rhyme only abab cdcd etc
○ terminated, usually written with 2 syllable end words.
○ when L3 is written with a 2 syllable end word, aicill rhyme is employed.
○ 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

x x x x x x (x a)
x x (x B) 
x x x x x x (x a)
x x a (x B) 

This Time of Year by Barbara Hartman

Today on Lizard Head, snow-pack 
recoils, recedes
— streams swell, dry reservoirs snapback, 
resource restored. 

Creeks cavort, rush to join rivers, 
boulders tumble. 
The Dolores races, shivers, 
quivers, trembles. 

White-water rapids slap riprap, 
romp, run away, 
Rocky Mountain snowcap renders 
runoff today.
Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

(Commonly used in Celtic verse forms.) According to the NPEOPP aicill rhyme is simply rhyming an end word of one line with a word somewhere early in the next line. Robin Skelton’s Shapes of our Singing takes it a step further and states aicill rhyme occurs when the end word of the first line is disyllabic. An on-line source describing Gaelic pronunciation takes it another step further describing aicill rhyme as occuring when the last stressed syllable of an end word rhymes with the next to last unstressed word in the next line with no mention that the end word need by disyllabic. (Gaelic examples I’ve been able to find seem to support all 3 definitions, of course I can’t really hear the stressed/unstressed definition but one example appeared as if the internal rhyme could be unstressed by the position in the line and the words around it.)

Pasted from <>

My Example

Welcome (Deachnadh Cummaisc)

Welcome, Delighted you arrived.
There’s a passel
to pass around.
So party-up! Don’t be passive.

Just shove the cat or dog away
They’ll feel perplexed,
and put awry,
but will stay, willing to partake.

They’ll willingly clean your fingers
with tongues wagging
when you’re finished.
It’s our way to make you welcome.

© Lawrencealot – November 28, 2014

Note: Below is what happens when you return to the desk, thinking that you were to be writing a poem with rhymes in assonance not consonance. This was my first effort, replaced with the above.

Welcome (Deachnadh Cummaisc)

Welcome. Delighted you arrived.
Last year callers
have all survived.
We’re festive drinkers, not brawlers.

Just shove the cat or dog aside,
although pesky
pets, they’ll abide;
It’s granpa who could get testy

We’ll jointly address your spirit
and your welfare.
Hell? Don’t fear it .
There’s someplace you’re always welcome.

© Lawrencealot – November 28, 2014

Visual template

Deachnadh Cummaisc

Couplet: Closed, Complete, Heroic

  • A Closed Couplet is any complete couplet in which meter and syntax are sealed at the end. The frame is end-stopped. When the lines are written in iambic pentameter and linked by rhyme it is also a heroic couplet.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,

The proper study of Mankind is Man.

 Pope‘s Essay on Man(note: this can also be an example of a complete couplet and a heroic couplet.

  • The Complete Couplet is a poetic unit of 2 lines that expresses a complete thought within itself. Meter and rhyme are at the poet’s discretion.

What is an epigram: a dwarfish whole,

Its body brevity, and wit it soul.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834 (note: Because the meter and syntax are end-stopped this is also a closed couplet. Because this example is written in iambic pentameter and linked with rhyme the couplet is also a heroic couplet.)

  • The Heroic couplet is a complete poetic thought unit of 2 iambic pentameter lines linked by rhyme. It is also a complete couplet and a closed couplet but it is the meter and linking rhyme that sets it apart as a “heroic couplet”. (note: a complete couplet and a closed couplet are only heroic couplets when they are written in iambic pentameter and linked by rhyme.) Shakespeare popularized the declamatory heroic couplet.

“But if thou live remembered not to be,

Die single and thine image dies with thee.”

 William Shakespeare, Sonnet 2

Pasted from <

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


The Drottkvaet or Old Court Skaldic meter is one of the earliest of the Skaldic stanzaic forms. The ancient poems in this stanzaic form were full of kenning to the point of sometimes being a riddle. The two word metaphoric descriptions which dominated the poems were often so loosely connected to the meaning that it obscured understanding.

The Drottkvaet is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. The quatrains often appear as octaves because the lines are Germanic “long lines” which break in half, the half line will often be separated into a 2nd line.
• accentual, lines of 12 syllables each, broken into two halves of 6 syllables each. Each half line has 3 stressed and 3 unstressed syllables, the last two syllable of the half line must be a trochee (Su).
• rhymed, rhyme scheme aBaB a being near rhymed by assonance, B being true rhyme.
• linked as couplets by assonance.
• odd lines should have double alliteration.

Mind Melt by Judi Van Gorder

Wishing to write in sync with old Nordic climate,
breaking a bigger line, into just two tortured 
halves. Hawking trochaic meter, mental, I’m at
my wits end. Wiley words don’t dance in an orchard.

Kenning clings to mind, making mystery with nonsense,
sea birds fly overhead, smoke in the sky trailing.
Most difficult to accomplish is assonance
rhyme. My brain melts down and I find myself failing.
Links to other Skaldic meters

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

Kenning: A metaphor using 2 substitute nouns. Buried diodes = brain synapse, liquid embers = synaptic activity.

My example

Poetic Stretching (Drottkvaet)

Minding measured metric feet invokes a testing,
stressing buried diodes, sparking liquid embers.
Assonance demands much more when it’s requested
Real rhymes rise rapidly.  Those my brain remembers.

Digging deeper does delay retrieval, granted;
but the buried seed will blossom in my kettle
Maybe not right now, but someday after planting
practice such as this perhaps will boost my mettle.

© Lawrencealot – November 27, 2014

Visual template


Cywydd llosgyrnog

Cywydd llosgyrnog, ców-idd llos-gr-notheg, 12th codified ancient Welsh Meter, a Cywydd, is composed in sixains. It is speculated that the Welsh poets learned this meter from a common medieval Latin hymn form.

The Cywydd llosgyrnog is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
• syllabic, the sixain is made up of 8-8-7-8-8-7 syllable lines.
• rhymed, L1 and L2 end-rhyme is echoed somewhere in the middle of L3 (3rd, 4th, or 5th syllables). L4 and L5 end-rhyme is echoed somewhere in the middle of L6. L3 and L6 end rhyme.

x x x x x x x A
x x x x x x x A
x x A x x x B (A could shift position slightly)
x x x x x x x C
x x x x x x x C
x x C x x x B (C could shift position slightly)
Y mae goroff a garaf
O gof aelaw aga a folaf
O choeliaf gael i chalon’
Am na welais i myn Elien
O Lanurful ilyn Aerfen
wawr mor wen o’r morynion
— Dafydd ap Demwnd[/i]
Friend or Foe by Judi Van Gorder

Knight of the Round Table, King’ s friend,
the fabled handsome one, men commend,
lived to defend, valor seen,
Sir Lancelot earned his reward.
Though prowess unmatched with the sword,
betrayed his Lord, loved his queen. 

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

My example

The Evil of Dorian Johnson

The Evil of Dorian Johnson (Cywydd llosgyrnog)

Had he not lied, I have no doubt
the race-baiters would have found clout
based upon the past grievous acts –
not current facts, but an excuse.
Men’s Billy-clubs and dogs turned loose
and past abuse against blacks.

Liar became provocateur
with consequences real and sure.
“Hands-up” became a news-reel theme
that fit the scheme of liberal guilt
to ratchet hatred to the hilt
and tilt acts to the extreme.

Their community has been wrecked
and clearly left without respect.
Some children have no Christmas hopes
all caused by mopes* of thuggish bent
for whom this cultural descent
to crime meant – a city gropes.

One perp whose lie became a blaze,
that caused a city to be razed.
If there is justice anywhere
he ought to wear perpetual shame 
and be singled out by his name;
he’s to blame for much despair.

© Lawrencealot – November 26, 2014

Author Notes:
Dorian Johnson (accomplice in the convenience store robbery and witness
against Officer Wilson) Not only does he contradict himself in his own
statements in the same session, but makes unsustainable and impossible
claims about the event that are impossible to have happened.

*Mope(From Urban dictionary)
A person of any race or culture that is: presenting themselves as uneducated
(either by mannerisms or the clothing they are wearing). Plural = Mopes
Mopes usually are up to no good and may have an extensive criminal
record and a limited vocabulary.

Visual template
Cywydd llosgyrnog

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

Visual template

Cywydd deuair hirion

Cywydd deuair fyrion

Cywydd deuair fyrion

Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement
Description: Four syllable lines in rhymed couplets. (Cow-idd dye-ire vuhr-yon or cuh’-with day’-air fruh’-yon) It can be true or half-rhyme.
Origin: Welsh
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 2

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

My example

Convenience Store Theft

Convenience Store Theft (Cywydd deuair frion)

Give them some slack
They’re young and black
It is their right
to steal tonight.
Forget the facts
blame the attacks
on white abuse,
a fine excuse;
they can’t appeal
so they must steal.

© Lawrencealot – November 25, 2014

Cyhydedd Naw Ban

Cyhydedd Naw Ban, cuh-hée-dedd naw ban, is the 17th codified ancient Welsh Meter, an Awdl merter. Poems using this meter often have lengthy sequences of couplets without change of rhyme. 

The Cyhydedd Naw Ban is:
• written in any number of rhymed couplets.
• made up of 9 syllable lines.
• rhymed, aa etc.
x x x x x x x x A
x x x x x x x x A
Wrthyt greawdyr byt bid vygobeith
Wrthyf byd drugar hywar hyweith
Yth arge neud gwae nyt gwael y gweith
Wrth dynyon gwylon y bo goleith
Wrht hynny Duw vry vrenhin pob ieith
yth archaf dagnef keinllef kanlleith.
Einion 15th century

News Images by Judi Van Gorder

They stand tall with bravado and yet,
covered faces deny who we’ve met.
Rockets, AKAs, swords, held in threat,
brow of hapless hostage exudes sweat.
No games played here, you will lose the bet,
mistakes of the past, lead to regret.

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

My example

Dainty Dolly and Her Sister Anne (Cyhydedd Naw Ban)

Dainty Dolly and her sister Anne
have both been romancing the same man.
The gutsy guy’s known as Dapper Dan,
who plays the ladies because he can.
But when they saw him flirt with Dianne
The sisters imposed a Dan man ban.

© Lawrencealot – November 25, 2014