Onzain or Onzijn

• The Onzain (French) or Onzijn (Dutch onze means eleven} is an invented form, the Dutch version of which is attributed to a Drs. P. The form apparently originated in France and this is all I could find about the French version of the form. The verse form is pretty simple, it is all about the number eleven.

The Onzain or Onzijn is:
○ a poem in eleven lines.
○ syllabic, each line is eleven syllables.
○ rhymed, the Dutch rhyme scheme is a-b-c-b-c-d-c-d-a-e-e, (I can only guess that the French rhyme scheme may be different since this scheme was specified as the Dutch version.)

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=2842#onzain
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

11 Lines, Isosyllabic: 11 syllables per line.  Rhymed: abcbcbcdcdee

My example


Gigafactory (Form: Onzain or Onzijn)

When a visionary moves into your town
it is reason to rejoice, and states compete
for the future good his industries will bring.
The new Gigafactory promise rings so sweet
(to make batteries here, versus in Beijing)
that the land required was offered Tesla’s boss.
As with quid quo pro, for almost anything
a few railed against what they supposed was cost.
But while cost is lost, investment’s not. A crown
has a value which exceeds by far its price.
I for one applaud my taxes use. It’s nice!

© Lawrencealot – Jan 1, 2015

Visual Template

Note:  There is no mandated meter for this form.
Onzain or Onzijn

Frost's Fire and Ice

Frost’s Fire and Ice Pattern:
Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” poem has
9 lines
Rhyme Scheme: a-b-a-a-b-c-b-c-b.
Syllable Count for Frost’s poem
is 8-4-8-8-8-7-8-3-4.
The examples follow the rhyme scheme
not syllable count and adds another
stanza. See what combinations you like
the best.

You may see her poems here. http://www.rainbowcommunications.org/velvet/forms/Frosts-Fire-and-Ice.pdf

I am grateful for the work Linda Varsell Smith has done on the Rainbow site, but as she admits, the specifications above are incorrect. What follows are the actual specifications for this form, and a visual template based upon the original work.

Frost’s Fire and Ice Specifications:

Stanzaic: One or more 9 line stanzas.
Rhymed: abaabcbca
Metric: Lines 1 and 3 through 7 are Iambic tetrameter
and Lines 2,8, and 9 are iambic dimeter.

Fire and Ice – by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

My example

Politics(Form: Frost’s Fire and Ice)

Impatient men do risky things
to get ahead.
Their girls they’ll lend to beds of kings,
ignoring any pain that brings.
Such men will pass new laws un-read.
because their leader says they must
They serve themselves in people’s stead
and earn disgust
betrayal brings.

© Lawrencealot – December 25th, 2014

Visual Template


Heroic Hexameter or dactylic hexameter

The Heroic Hexameter or dactylic hexameter was considered the Grand Style of classic Greek and Latin verse displayed in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. The line was often enjambed which was conducive for the long almost prose like epic verse.

The line employs Alcmanic verse in the first 4 feet, the 5th foot is almost always another dactyl and the line ends with a spondee. Suu/Suu/Suu/Suu/Suu/SS Classic meter allows for the substitution of a spondee for a dactyl at any position in the line but the dominant meter here is the dactyl. Somewhere in the line there is at least 1 caesura. And if you want to really get technical there are 2 bridges, 1 in the 2nd foot (Meyer’s bridge) and another in the 4th foot(Herrmann’s bridge). Yep, they even have names. A bridge is an unbroken word unit in a metric foot. e.g. In the line below, “murmuring” is a bridge, “primeval” is not a bridge.
This is the / forest pri / meval. The | murmuring | pines and the | hem locks
from Longfellow’s Evangeline
Here is the intro to this very long poem Evangaline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, 
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, 
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. 
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest. 
This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it 
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman? 
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers — 
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands, 
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven? 
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed! 
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October 
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o’er the ocean. 
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré. 
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient, 
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s devotion, 
List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest; 
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1576
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

As in all classical verse forms, the phenomenon of brevis in longo is observed, so the last syllable can actually be short or long.
Hexameters also have a primary caesura — a break in sense, much like the function of a comma in prose — at one of several normal positions: After the first syllable in the third foot (the “masculine” caesura); after the second syllable in the third foot if the third foot is a dactyl (the “feminine” caesura); after the first syllable of the fourth foot; or after the first syllable of the second foot (the latter two often occur together in a line, breaking it into three separate units). The first possible caesura that one encounters in a line is considered the main caesura. A masculine caesura can offset a hiatus, causing lengthening of an otherwise light syllable.
In addition, hexameters have two bridges, places where there very rarely is a break in a word-unit. The first, known as Meyer’s Bridge, is in the second foot: if the second foot is a dactyl, the two short syllables generally will be part of the same word-unit. The second, known as Hermann’s Bridge, is the same rule in the fourth foot: if the fourth foot is a dactyl, the two short syllables generally will be part of the same word-unit.
It must be stressed that Meyer’s and Hermann’s Bridge concern only Homeric verse and are not observed in Latin dactylic hexameter. Even in Homer, these bridges are not prescriptive. The first line of the Iliad violates Meyer’s Bridge (Μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος) since there is a word break between ἄειδε and θεὰ.

Pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dactylic_hexameter

My attempt

Life as a Symbol (Heroic Hexameter)

Vile is the violence often committed by powerful bad men
seeking compliance with orders they’ve fashioned, demanding we bow.
Poisons and bombs and the boots on the ground will demand some men be slaves.
Some will proclaim that we ought to submit, that non-violence can win!
Maybe it’s likely I’d speak well in German, if Hitler’d had his way.
I am as likely a lackey today I am thinking, as Tytler*
Pointed out. Power’s accretion enslaves us at last, what did we gain?
Millions of people have died and for what? An illusion of freedom?
Bow down and scrape, and serve well your new master, ascend in his order.
Aid in the evil, or die in denial, you can’t have it both ways.
Camelot pledged that its might would be used just for right, not abandoned.

(c) Lawrencealot – December 15, 2014

*Tytler Cycle: (LINK)


Balada (France) is a less popular version and differs from the Dansa or Balatta in that it is more a genre than a stanzaic form. The only consistent requirements being that the verse be lyrical and carry a “persistent” refrain. (The refrain can be more than one line.) From there the frame varies at the discretion of the poet. However the NPEOPP suggests that the first line of the refrain is repeated after the 1st line and sometimes 2nd line of each stanza.

The Balada is:
• stanzaic, often written in 3 stanzas (at least 5 lines each) of consistent number of lines (3 quintains, 3 sixains, 3 octaves etc.)Occasionally you may find more than 3 stanzas in the poem.
• Sometimes written with a mote which then serves as a refrain.
• the lines have no set meter. However during the period from which these verse forms emerged, quantitative or syllabic meters were most often present in the verse of these regions. The dominant Occitan meter was hexasyllabic (6 syllable) lines and the dominant Italian meter was the heptasyllabic (7 syllable) lines with the primary accent on the 6th syllable.
• rhymed, when written with a mote and 3 quintains, rhyme scheme AbAbaA bAbaA bAbaA A being the refrain.
• written with a “persistent” refrain, often at L2, sometimes L4 and the last line of each stanza. 

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=693#balada
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My Example

Dumb Them Down (Balada)

Don’t let them learn too much,
just dumb them down in school.
Don’t let them learn too much,
they’re easier to fool.
Don’t let them learn too much.

Get them before pre-school.
Don’t let them learn too much.
Indoctrination’s cool; 
they’ll need us for a crutch.
Don’t let them learn too much.

Do not allow home-school,
Don’t let them learn too much.
Elites must not lose rule,
Send them to war and such,
Don’t let them learn too much.

© Lawrencealot – November 12, 2014

Visual template
This template is iambic, but meter is NOT mandated.


Atarlis Fileata

Atarlis Fileata (a-ar-lee fee-lay-ah-tay), which is Gaelic for “repeating poetic” is a stanzaic verse which doesn’t seem to adhere to the standards of the ancient Irish forms. So I can only assume this is a more recent invented form, possibly the creation of Cathy at Mosaic Musings although she doesn’t indicate it as such. 

The Atarlis Fileata is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of septets but each septet must be able to stand alone, therefore a narrative would not be appropriate.
• measured by number of words not syllables or metric feet with 2-3-4-5-4-3-2 words per line.
• rhymed, A B a x a B A.
• composed with a refrain, L1 is repeated as L7 and L2 is repeated as L6, 

Heat of Autumn by Judi Van Gorder

Colors turn
warm my view
while damp leaves burn
and toast my frigid fingers 
send thoughts to churn
warm my view
colors turn

Pasted from <http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=2169
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

I Vote Wrong (Atarlis Fileata)

I try
although it’s meaningless,
that I won’t deny.
Candidates I vote for lose.
I don’t know why;
although it’s meaningless
I try.

© Lawrencealot – November 11, 2014

Visual template

Atarlis Fileata

Alcmanic verse poetry form

Alcmanic verse is a metric line of dactylic tetrameter. It was named for the ancient Greek poet Alcman and was commonly used in early Greek verse. 

——-Quantitative verse Lss / Lss / Lss / Lss 
——-in English, accentual syllabic Suu / Suu / Suu / Suu 

——-Beatles’ lyric from Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
——-Pict ure your / self in a / boat on a / riv er with
——-tang er ine / tree ees and / mar mal ade / skis ii es 

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1252
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Peeing Into the Wind (Alcmanic Verse)
Peeing Into the Wind

Damning the voters who wanted trough feeding and
Cursing and hating Obama’s direction, he
Went to the polls with small hope of succeeding but
damned if the folks did not make a correction.

© Lawrencealot – November 10, 2014

Visual template

Alcmanic verse

Linked Refrain

This is a form created my Mary Lou Healy, writing as Mlou on Allpoetry.com.
It is patterned after her own “Autumn’s Imperious Call”.

I’m blown away on the wildling winds of fall.
Almost, it seems, I have no will at all
but melt into those colored dancing streams
that swirl and whirl, painting my leaf-filled dreams.

Painting my leaf-filled dreams with amber light
that glows and goes straight to the heart of things.
This is the season when my hopes take flight
and soar to more ardent heights on burning wings.

On burning wings, my autumn days are borne
into an endless sky.  I must obey
the bright command.  As leaves from trees are torn,
on falling, calling notes,  I’m blown away.

Pasted from http://allpoetry.com/poem/11672061-Autumns-Imperious-Call-by-Mlou

It shares the stanzaic nature and rhyme pattern of the Swap Quatrain but is unique in meter, and by nature of it’s inter-stanza linkage. I have named in the Linked Refrain.

The Linked Refrain is:
Stanzaic: Consisting of 3 or more quatrains
Metered: Iambic Pentameter
Rhymed: aabb cdcd efef, etc
Refrain: The last portion of the last line of each stanza becomes the first part of the next stanza, except for the final stanza. It’s last portion is the first portion of the first stanza.

My example

2nd Amendment to U.S. Constitution (Linked Refrain)

A last resort is revolution, friend,
when tyranny and foul abuse must end.
Dependency sets liberty askew
when laws are slanted by a monied few.

A moneyed few will finally take control
as Tytler showed us, only all too well.*
The point is reached where voting plays no role
and masters then arise we can’t expel.

We can’t expel dictators- we’re but slaves
and will accept a fair amount of pain.
The point will come when men prefer their graves
to bondage. Then of course we’ll fight again.

We’ll fight again; the question is, with what?
We’ll not have laser drones or planes or tanks
nor will the masters use them to rebut
our will for fear of rage within the ranks.

Within the ranks of tyrants in the past
their scheme has been disarm – exterminate!
Won’t we be safer minus guns they asked?
Hell no! The facts are such I’d hesitate.

I’d hesitate for social crime alone,
disarmed against a thief I’d come up short.
I’m keeping every single gun I own
for patriots they are a last resort.

© Lawrencealot – November 3, 2014

* See a brief descripton of the Tytle cycle here:
http: www.commonsensegovernment.com article-03-14-09.html

Visual template

Linked Refrain


Structure, Metrical Requirement, Repetitive Requirement
Description: Form invented by US poet John Ciardi, it could be considered a semi-gloss. It consists of six six-line verses. Each line of the first verse is the first line of one of the six verses in order. Ciardi’s trenta-sei was written in five-stress accentual lines.
Attributed to: John Ciardi
Origin: American
Schematic: Repetition scheme:
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 6
Line/Poem Length:          36

Measuring poetry as accentual verse, one only counts the stressed syllables in the line, so a line might have four stresses and anywhere from four to sixteen syllables and still be considered a four-stress line. Many forms of accentual verse use alliteration to tie the stresses together.

Pasted from <http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/003/318.shtml
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.


The poem consists of six six-line stanzas rhyming ababcc, with lines two through six in stanza one becoming line one of a following stanza, in that order. As a resolving device, he allows the fifth line of stanza one to change from the present tense to the past when it appears as the first line of stanza five.
As in other works by John Ciardi, the line is clearly the unit of the poem, a unit at the same time of sound, sense, and syntax, so that the reader progressing through the poem feels solid ground underfoot. At the same time, most of the lines raise a question, in the mind of the reader, that the next line will answer:
The species-truth of the matter is we are glad (of what?)
to have a death to munch on. Truth to tell, (which truth is what?)
we are also glad to pretend it makes us sad.
When it comes to dying, Keats did it so well (how well?)
we thrill to the performance…
And so forth, building for the reader a compelling sense of forward motion.
Ciardi’s rarest accomplishment in this poem, apart from the prosodic form, is the closing of a thought with the closing of each stanza. It’s not often that we find a poet so clearly in control of the poem.
The resolution of the poem is perhaps its finest moment: It looks back on itself and says to the reader—inductively, so that she can take it home—“This is what the poem is getting at,” and says it with such finality that if it were the last line on the page, one would not turn the page to see if the poem ended there. The poem doesn’t just end: it resolves.
All of this is to say that John Ciardi has done what the maker of any artwork wants to do, which is to make the very difficult look easy, to give form to the wildest feelings, and—though this rarely happens—to give the art a shape it didn’t have before. One would think that such a shape in poetry would begin to appear in anthologies and textbooks, and that other poets would be persuaded by the intriguing challenges and possibilities to write their own trenta-seis.

Pasted from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/242214


Trenta-sei, (French = 36), is a modern day verse form that appears to have taken its cue from the Sestina and the Villanelle. “Like the Sestina it is a strong pattern not likely to get lost in the language of the poem” Miller Williams, Patterns of Poetry, although it seems less “thought out”. The rotating repetition of lines from the first stanza brings a little feel of the Villanelle but the repetition is less obvious. The Trenta-sei was created by a 20th century American Poet, John Ciardi.

The Trenta-sei is:
• narrative verse.
• usually written as accentual verse (the rhythm of today’s speech) with 5 stressed syllables per line
• stanzaic, composed of 6 sixains, 36 lines total.
• rhymed, with the rhyme scheme of a heroic sestet, aB1A1B2C1C2 / B1dbdee / A1fafgg / B2hbhii / C1jcjkk / C2lclmm
• composed with each line (with the exception of L1) of the first stanza taking its turn as the first line of the following stanzas..

Game Six, a trenta sei by Judi Van Gorder 10-26-02
Bonds at bat, Rodrigues paws the mound,
no outs, one strike, two balls, two more, will he walk?
Excited fans react with thunder stick sound
the summer sport disciples have come to gawk.
Illusive is the rocky road to fame,
a national favorite, a World Series game.

No outs, one strike, two balls, two more, will he walk?
It’s the top of the sixth, no runners on base
he swings with quickening speed and powers the rock
I watch the ball soar high—to outer space,
and he does it again and jogs home to his fate;
his place in history, he’ll not abdicate.

Excited fans react with thunder stick sound,
with rattle slap and clatter, when will it stop?
The noise so loud it shakes and rumbles the ground
like a stampede of horses running clippety-clop
and what is with that monkey on the stick?
If Giants should win, the angels will be sick!

The summer sport disciples have come to gawk
enjoying beer and hot dogs passing around
while spectators cheer, others in shock.
It’s the thrill of the place, the faithful expound,
intensity builds increasing the sound of the din
and I pray for my team to bring home the big win.

Illusive is the rocky road to fame,
the team in red at home and now, down one.
My guys on the road, with ralley monkeys to tame;
a hit, the Angels scored, now this is no fun.
The top of the ninth, can we pull this one through?
My stomach in knots like I just got the flu.

A national favorite, a World Series game,
“strike three” he shouts–and number six is done,
tomorrow tells if hopes go up in flame.
Another nine innings and the best team has won,
we’ll call them the champs and have a parade.
my hopes are the Giants will make the grade.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?/topic/620-trenta-sei/

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

Rhyme scheme: aB1A1B2C1C2 B1dbdee A1fafgg B2hbhii C1jcjkk C2lclmm

My example

Note: Dear readers this uses FOUR stressed syllables per line, rather than the standard 5, simply the result of this poet’s inattention.

Tytler Unfolding   (Trenta-sei)

To ask for more from other men,
expecting something is your due
to take and take and take again
That leads to power all will rue.
A tyranny must wrest control
to lock down dictatorial role.

Expecting something is your due
when you’ve not served the body’s cause
will only work when just a few
rely on stipends passed by laws.
When many take and few produce
the few will balk at that abuse.

to take and take and take again
requires the government to tax.
the payer may not now abstain
and takers need not even ask.
At some point, ruler will inflate
in order to accommodate.

That leads to power all will rue.
Dependency per Tytler’s rules
is followed by dictator’s coup.
When selfishness makes many fools
and wealth has had to concentrate
the government must confiscate.

A tyranny must wrest control
and then the one-percent must fall
to keep the masses on the dole,
then things deteriorate for all.
And thus the cycle will repeat-
with bloodshed when there’s naught to eat.

To lock down dictatorial role
The business king-pins must be crushed.
An iron fist must take its toll-
then pain- the cycle can’t be rushed.
We’re getting close; I fear great cost
we must awaken ‘ere we’re lost.

© Lawrencealot – August 25, 2014

* The Tytle Cycle is explained here:

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Alcaic Stanza poetry form

Alcaics “gives an impression of wonderful vigour and spontaneity”. The 1911 Edition Encyclopedia. The stanzaic form is attributed to the poet Alceaus 6th century BC and is an Aeolic classic meter.

Alcaics stanzaic form is:
• stanzaic, any number of quatrains may be written.
• metric, quantitative verse. The first 3 lines are 5 metric feet and the last line, 4 metric feet with a specific combination of trochees and dactyls. There are variations on the rhythm of the Alcaics quatrain but the following (one source refers to it as the dactyl Alcaic quatrain) seems to me the most common as demonstrated in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Milton.

(acephalous refers to the missing 1st syllable of an iambic foot)

L1 & L2 acephalous iamb, 2 trochees and 2 dactyls;
L3 acephalous iamb, 4 trochees;
L4 2 dactyls 2 trochees in that order

Quantitative Verse

Milton Part I by Alfred Lord Tennyson 1891
O mighty-mouth’d inventor of harmonies,
O skill’d to sing of Time or Eternity,
God-gifted organ-voice of England,
Milton, a name to resound for ages;
Whose Titan angels, Gabriel, Abdiel,
Starr’d from Jehovah’s gorgeous armouries,
Tower, as the deep-domed empyrean
Rings to the roar of an angel onset–
Me rather all that bowery loneliness,
The brooks of Eden mazily murmuring,
And bloom profuse and cedar arches
Charm, as a wanderer out in ocean,
Where some refulgent sunset of India
Streams o’er a rich ambrosial ocean isle,
And crimson-hued the stately palm-woods
Whisper in odorous heights of even.
Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1250
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example poem

Middle Class Morass (Alcaics)

O Yes! The rich have bankable balances;
O Yes! they choose the candidate’s policies.
Not those for whom the dole is dribbled,
though they contribute the votes those men need.

© Lawrencealot – August 3 , 2014
Visual Template
(4 lines or multiple)

The Binyon

The Binyon is an envelope verse form with refrain patterned after the poem O World, Be Nobler by 19th century English poet Laurence Binyon. Binyon is known as a World War I poet. O World, is not his best known work, he is better known for For the Fallen which is often used in military memorial services.
The Binyon is:
• a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines.
• metered, iambic tetrameter.
• rhymed, rhyme scheme AbccbaA.
• composed with a refrain, the 1st line is repeated as the last line.
O World, Be Nobler Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
O WORLD, be nobler, for her sake!
If she but knew thee what thou art,
What wrongs are borne, what deeds are done
In thee, beneath thy daily sun,
Know’st thou not that her tender heart
For pain and very shame would break?
O World, be nobler, for her sake!
Pasted from <http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668>
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO resource.
My example poem
Election Comes First (The Binyon)
I want you all to rest assured
I can be trusted with your vote.
The moneyed crowd does not own me,
I’m independent as can be.
I’ve got no mistress, plane, or boat,
I will someday though, mark my word.
I want you all to rest assured.
© Lawrencealot – June 12, 2014
Visual Template
The Binyon