The Trichain is a poetry form created by Lisa La Grange, writing on

A Trichain is:

  • Stanzaic: Consisting of 3 or more quatrains.
  • Metered: Each quatrain consists of 3 lines of iambic tetrameter and one line of iambic trimeter.
  • Rhyme Scheme: aaab cccb dddb …

La Grange’s Example

La Grange’s Example

Form: Trichain

Beautiful Mystery

At times the heart is plagued by pains
that bind like cold corroding chains;
it seems the torment never wanes
and nothing brings respite.

But then amidst oppressive fears
and cold depression’s streaming tears,
the mystery of love appears,
exuding dulcet light.

And then the chains of grief and woe,
are melted by its crimson glow
and misery is forced to go;
defeated by delight.

For love obliterates the gloom
of shadows that appear to loom.
They fade in beauty’s brilliant bloom
as flames of hope ignite.

My Example

Form: Trichain

The Girl and the Toad

While down a rustic path I strode
I chanced upon a tuckered toad,
who’d stopped still sitting in the road,
which seemed a dangerous place.

He let me take him in my hand
and when I spoke, it was unplanned;
I did not think he’d understand
although that seemed the case.

Within my head I heard a sound,
a mellow voice that did confound;
the toad, the only one around
was staring at my face.

“You are as pretty as they come
so sitting here was not so dumb,
If you will kiss me I’ll become
a prince with charm and grace.”

© Lawrencealot – July 5, 2015

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Descort, Occitan – (Old French= discordant), is a genre of poetry that is written with differing verse forms utilized from strophe to strophe. Each strophe is structured in a minimum of 2 elements, the verse forms chosen can be recognized verse or nonce forms. Elements such as line number, meter, rhyme, and language are all factors.

Discordant Thoughts by Judi Van Gorder

“Time in a bottle”
is a phrase racing
through my brain
for days.
If we could truly capture time
and stuff it into hollow glass
then mount it in a frame of brass,
I think it might just be a crime.
What would now become?
Would the moment pass?
Why is this just dumb?
all years, months and days
winter, spring, summer and fall
“time in a bottle”
Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Enchanting Permitted
Enchanting Permitted (Descort)
I can see, hear, and touch you in my heart.
I can sense clearly darling, you’re a tart.
Although you’re armed, and pretty by the way,
I know you’ve charmed a kitty that protects.
He’ll let no beast or human call you prey
He’ll let you play with those that he respects.
I have been charmed, I am disarmed, I’m not alarmed.
I can not tell If there’s a spell you’ve cast so well
but should that be it’s fine with me for then I’ll see
the chosen view as meant by you which I’ll hold true.
© Lawrencealot – November 30, 2014

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
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”




3a We’ll go on?
3a Soon begun
12b a new Mayan calender called B’aktun 14
12b hidden in Guatemala, more future unseen
12c in Xuitun excavation-seven thousand years
12c 2.5 million days to quell some folks fears.
3d End of fuss?
3d Still end us?
3e But not all
3e you recall
12f relied on just Mayan calendar prophesy
12f Dire times for our evil crimes some others see–
12g Nostradamus, Bible, Native Americans.
12g Angry Earth disasters causing all short life spans
3h in some way
3h on some day.

Created by Jacqueline Sturge
1. Any number of octaves or 8-line stanzas
2. Syllable Count: 3-3-12-12-12-12-3-3
3. Rhymed: a-a-b-b-c-c-d-d. Continue e-e-f-f-g-g-h-h etc

© 2012 Linda Varsell Smith “Word-Playful”

• The Tigerjade is an invented stanzaic form introduced by Jacqueline Sturge. In researching the name, I found Tiger Jade the name of a freighter in the Bengal Tiger line. The name could also refer to jewelry, a jade tiger.

The Tigerjade is:
○ stanzaic, written in any number of octaves.
○ syllabic, 3-3-12-12-12-12-3-3 syllables per line.
○ rhymed, aabbccdd eeffgghh etc.

Pasted from

My Example

Choose a Treat

Choose a Treat (Tigerjade)

Please abide;
step inside.
The treats you offer are enticing, yummy, yet
your hands are full of goodies and your little pet.
Your fingernails are lovely, but that pot is black;
please set it down then come inside and scratch my back.
When you’re done
we’ll have fun.

Costume’s bold!
Are you cold?
I’ll warm you up in ways that you might contemplate,
and effortlessly, I think you’ll reciprocate.
I’ll scratch your back as well as anywhere you itch.
This night is Halloween – you know you can bewitch.
Please come in.
Let’s begin.

© Lawrencealot – October 28, 2014

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Twenty six letters, twenty six words

Twenty six letters, twenty six words, a-z or z-a, is a variation of the Alphabet poem using one word for every letter in the alphabet not necessarily beginning a different line for each word.

A Brief Cast by Judi Van Gorder

A blue crane
danced energetically
for glory, holding imaginary
jewels, keeping lithe movements
noticeably osculating,
posturing quickly round
submerged tule
until vultures wallop
xiphoid yams.

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


Related forms: ABC PoemsAbecedariusAlliterated Alphabet PoemAlphabeastiary,Iroha Mokigusari, Twenty-six letter, twenty-six words

My example

Worse than Taxes (Twenty six letters, twenty six words)

A bitter curse drove everyone
from grand households in Jule’s kingdom,
leaving mansions never occupied.

People quit, reluctantly,
sticking to uninhabited valleys —
wet, xenolithic yellow zones.

(Lawrencealot – Sept. 3, 2014)


I found a few invented forms which appear to be exclusive to The Study and Writing of Poetry; American Women Poets Discuss Their Craft, 1983. The book is a collection of essays from 50 American women poets, each essay provides insights into a multitude of topics from poetic genres, stanzaic forms, to writing techniques. This book provided some addition insights and background information on several stanzaic forms that I thought I had researched fully. I liked this book, it pays attention to the details.

• The Orvillette is an invented verse form crated by Virginia Noble as a tribute to her son, Orville, a disabled World War II paratrouper. 

The Orvillette is:
○ a verse form, written in 4 quatrains, a poem in 16 lines.
○ metered, iambic tetrameter.
○ composed with a refrain and a rentrament. L1 is repeated as L1 in each quatrain. The first 3 syllables of L4 are repeated as the first 3 syllables of L4 in each quatrain.
○ rhymed, Raba Rcbc Rdbd Rebe. L3 of each stanza carries a linking rhyme between stanzas.

x x x x x x x R
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x b
r r r x x x x a

x x x x x x x R
x x x x x x x c
x x x x x x x b
r r r x x x x c etc.

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

My example

My Tin of Paints (Orvillette)

My Tin of Paints

My tin of paints contains it all
from places that I’ve never been
with scenes that scare me and enthrall,
important only now and then.

My tin of paints contains it all
A dragon facing me one day
gives way to maidens lithe and tall.
Important things those pictures say.

My tin of paints contains it all
I play, or get things off my chest.
No picture ever seems banal
Important feelings are expressed.

My tin of paints contains it all
With my own brush and putty-knife
and my inventive wherewithal
Important times are brought to life.

© Lawrencealot – August 24, 2014

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Although it is not mandated, I chose the refrain end word rhyme to agree with the b-rhyme.


 An Allegorose is A Form Created By chasingtheday of Allpoetry.
It is:
Stanzaic: consisting of 3 quintet stanzas (a poem of 15 lines)
Syllabic: each stanza consisting of 6/8/5/10/9 syllables
Rhyme pattern: aabab ccdcd eefef
There is no metric requirement

My Example poem
A Hyperbolic Dangle (Allegorose)
Though there’s a steep incline
you need not fear this bridge of mine
Just trust the cable.
It’s made of tempered steel, not rope or twine.
Despite appearances, it’s stable.
An able bodied man,
or woman, boy or girl who can
show brave demeanor
Can almost skip along across the span,
but you may use a carabiner.
The need to cross is rare
but real, and for the few who care
to sway and dangle
it’s much more fun to go from here to there,
than coming back ‘cus of the angle.
© Lawrencealot – July 22, 2014

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This is an ad hoc template: no meter is required.

Swinburne's Sestet

The form is patterned after Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “Ilicet”

It is stanzaic, consisting of any number of sestets.
It is metered, written in iambic tetrameter.
It is rhymed: aabccb, with all but the b-rhymes being feminine.

My example poem
Retribution – Part 1 (Swinburne Sestet)
The desert stretched before the brothers
with air that clings and nearly smothers
and things that live here go to ground.
Now only driven desperation
could make them risk the dehydration
that others crossing here had found.
The renegades had raped and slaughtered
both Henry’s wife and teen-aged daughter
while Tom and he had been away.
The men had now a fearful mission
and they would kill with no contrition
but first they had to live today.
Their water gone, their strength was failing.
Despite the sun, Tom’s face was paling
The waterhole was miles ahead.
Now… just ahead- they were arriving
the waterhole that meant surviving,
without the water they’d be dead.
The spring was poisoned by the outlaws
their evil, dammit, was without flaws.
In it were bloated putrid sheep.
The sun was hot and acted willing
to help them with their slow distilling
enough to drink then more to keep.
The next two days they traveled nightly
and persevered ’til sun shone brightly.
They set their horses free to roam
in foothills. To continue healthy
their only movements must be stealthy.
or death would call these mountains home.
Each bandit kept his horse and cattle-
delighted with their ill-gained chattel
and forced therefore to stick to trails.
The brothers both had served as trackers
and army scouts, and were not slackers,;
they were in fact as hard as nails.
One had a crossbow, one a rifle
both carried knives to wreak reprisal.
Now vengeance was their only aim.
The renegades had thrived on terror,
but their last raid had been an error
now retribution surely came.
© Lawrencealot – July 21, 2014
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The Russell

• The Russell is a verse form composed of three alternating rhyme quatrains written with the first 3 lines iambic pentameter and the fourth line iambic trimeter. It is patterned after The Great Breath by George William Russell (1867-1935),

The Russell is:

  • stanzaic written in any number of octaves. (original poem has 6 octaves)
  • metered, L1, L4,L6 and L8 are dimeter, L2,L3,L5, and L7 are pentameter.
  • rhymed, aabbccdd.

The Great Breath by George William Russell
ITS edges foam’d with amethyst and rose,
Withers once more the old blue flower of day:
There where the ether like a diamond glows,
Its petals fade away.
A shadowy tumult stirs the dusky air;
Sparkle the delicate dews, the distant snows;
The great deep thrills–for through it everywhere
The breath of Beauty blows.
I saw how all the trembling ages past,
Moulded to her by deep and deeper breath,
Near’d to the hour when Beauty breathes her last
And knows herself in death.
Pasted from <>
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the years of effort on the wonderful PoetryMagnumOpus resource.
My example Poem
Somewhere a Prince

Picture credit: Robert Dowling

Somewhere a Prince (The Russell)

There’s room to land a flying dragon here
and I’m above the clouds so don’t get wet.
It’s falling off the edges that I fear,
I’m higher than Tibet.

My prince desired to keep me safe and chaste.
Deliveries are made each week or two.
I hope the campaign’s through and done post-haste.
There’s no one here to do.

If he don’t win, I hope the dragon knows
to bring along the prince who does prevail.
the winner will be handsome I suppose
to make a happy tale.

© Lawrencealot – July 13, 2014

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The Russell

The Dixon

The Dixon measures the differences between masculine and feminine rhyme. Patterned after the poem The Feathers of the Willow by English poet, Richard Watson Dixon (1833-1900)
The Dixon is:
○ stanzaic, written in any number of sixains made up of 2 tercets.
○ metered, iambic* trimeter
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme aab ccb. The b rhymes are strong, masculine, the rhyme on a stressed end syllable. The a and c rhymes are feminine or falling rhymes, the rhyme is in the stressed syllable of an end word ending in an unstressed syllable.
The Feathers of the Willow by Richard Watson Dixon
THE feathers of the willow
Are half of them grown yellow
———- Above the swelling stream;
And ragged are the bushes,
And rusty now the rushes,
———- And wild the clouded gleam.
The thistle now is older,
His stalk begins to moulder,
———-His head is white as snow;
The branches all are barer,
The linnet’s song is rarer,
———-The robin pipeth now.
Pasted from <>
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO resource.
*Added by Lawrencealot
My Example poem.
Unsmudged (The Dixon
I could not keep from fainting
aa you produced a painting
beneath my fairest skin.
You never have recanted
the claim that it’s enchanted.
A rune that’s blocking sin.
You said no one should see it
It’s awesome, but so be it
It’s there for only you.
Whichever face you’re seeing
it represents my being
and will be always true.
© Lawrencealot – June 19, 2014

Picture credit:  Google pics, rights belong to photographer.
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The Dixon