• The Quinzaine is an internet form found at Shadow Poetry and Instant Poetry for Kids, named from the French qunize (fifteen) for the 15 syllables the poem contains.The Quinzaine is:
    • a tristich, a poem of 3 lines.
    • syllabic, 7/5/3 syllables per line.
    • unrhymed.
    • composed of: L1 a statement, L2 and L3 questions related to the statement.Keats by Judi Van GorderPoet writes in present tense.
      When is verse in time,
      is now then?
Thanks to Judi for the fine source at PMO.
My Attempt at Example
Insanity Defense      (Quinzaine)
Right and wrong are human judgments.
Can incapable man
do no wrong?
© Lawrencealot – December 5, 2013


An Afghan form  has only a few formal properties.  Each has twenty-two syllables:   nine in the first line, thirteen in the second.                                 
The poem ends with the sound “ma” or “na.”
(One meaning of the word landay is short, poisonous snake.)
These are the specifications  I found at
Along with almost all of the examples below.
Sometimes they rhyme, but more often not.                                 
In Pashto, they lilt internally from word to word in a kind of two-line lullaby                         
that belies the sharpness of their content, which is distinctive not only for                         
its beauty, bawdiness, and wit, but also for the piercing ability to articulate                         
a common truth about war, separation, homeland, grief, or love.                                
Within these five main tropes, the couplets express a collective fury, a                                 
lament, an earthy joke, a love of home, a longing for the end of separation, a                        
call to arms, all of which frustrate any facile image of a Pashtun woman as                         
nothing but a mute ghost beneath a blue burqa.
The landays* are a way to subvert the social code in which women are prohibited
from speaking freely. Since the poems are collective and anonymous “women can
claim they just overhead the poems in the marketplace,” says Griswold, “not
that they authored them.”
*Authors note:  Even in this extensive site, we note Landays used as the plural, but
formally I read somewhere the plural is Landai.  That seems consistent with English usage.
“These poems are part of an oral tradition that goes back thousands of years, sung by nomads and farmers at wedding ceremonies or around campfires. Today, the landay form has in some ways gone underground, becoming a means of expression and defiance for oppressed Pashtun women.”
Poetry to Die For.
Jim Fleming: In Afghan culture poetry is revered incompetent fact, you can find lines of famous poems graffiti-ed on sides of buildings.  There are though some poems that are secret, like this one: I call your stone, one day you’ll look and find I’m gone.  There is a story behind that poem and Strainchamps is here in the studio with me, and you have the story.
Anne Strainchamps: Well Jim the story begins with a teenage girl named, Rahila, and she lived Helmound, which you know is one of the Taliban strongholds [xx].  Like a lot of real Afghan girls, she wasn’t allowed to leave her home or go to school, her father pulled her out of school after the fifth grade and she found refuge in poetry.  The poem you just read is a landay, that’s a folk poem part of a Pastian tradition of woman’s poetry.  Rahila began to write and quote poems like this.  Then one day her brothers discovered that she was writing love poetry, and that is something that is considered very dishonorable and they beat her badly.  In protest, Rahila doused herself with cooking oil and she set herself on fire and she died.
Jim: Oh my Lord.  In our culture to imagine a culture where a woman dies for writing poetry.
Anne: Yeah, and the reason we know about [?] Rahila [?] Muska- her real name turned out be [?] Zirina – is thanks to American Journalist and Poet, Eliza Grizwald.  Eliza heard about Rahila, and she traveled to Afghanistan to try to find out more and she uncovered this hidden poetry tradition.  Poems called landay.
What I can tell you after personally visiting several educational and revealing sites is that the specified requirements are WIDELY ignored in the poetic examples I was able to find, and to no detriment to the form, and that there is on other poetry form that is used so exclusively by women.  Further,
 I think it is the most vital and socially functional poetry in the world today.
Here are some examples.  I rarely found a poem that met the line by line syllabic requirements.
I never found one with the “ma” or “na” ending.
See for yourself if the have “bite”.
You sold me to an old man, father.
May God destroy your home, I was your daughter.
Making love to an old man
is like fucking a shriveled cornstalk blackened by mold.
The old goat seized a kiss from my pout
like tearing a piece of fat from a starving dog’s snout.
May God destroy the White House and kill the man
who sent U.S. cruise missiles to burn my homeland.
When sisters sit together, they always praise their brothers.
When brothers sit together, they sell their sisters to others.
Your eyes aren’t eyes. They’re bees.
I can find no cure for their sting.
Come, let’s lie thigh against thigh.
If you climb on top, I won’t cry.
My lover is fair as an American soldier can be.
To him I looked dark as a Talib, so he martyred me.
Be black with gunpowder or blood-red
but don’t come home whole and disgrace my bed.
Here are some from the Tenth Muse
What can a woman know of war?
Only how to weep angry tears and bury her dead.
I sing even under my blue hood.
My mother says I am a most determined songbird.
He says at home I am a flower
but to the world I should be as plain as a weed.
And finally, I am required to write one myself:
So poets, give structured writes a try,
but let your words cry for those who wrote then had to die.


The lai is a form of French origin, even more ancient than the virelai ancien (which evolved from it). It is not to be confused with the Breton lay,  a quite different form of which Chaucer‘s Franklin’s Tale is an example; or the lay, a term sometimes used for a short historical ballad, such Sir Walter Scott‘s Lay of the Last Minstrel; or with the word lay used simply to mean a song. 
Having ensured your total lack of confusion, let me tell you what the lai actually is. It’s like a slimmed-down virelai ancien, with the stanzas not linked by rhyme. Here’s one:
Lai of the Cow
The praises I sing
Of that wondrous thing
The cow.
Let the rafters ring!
My Muse shall take wing,
I vow.Foods our cattle bring
Are fit for a king,
And how!
As white as can be,
The smooth quality
Of silk,
The epitome
Of maternity,
Its milk.You have to agree
You never will see
Its ilk.
For an honoured guest
Save the very best:
The cream.
While those not so blest
Make do with the rest,
And dream.
So nice to digest,
That when it’s suppressed,
Folk scream!You can churn milk, so
It becomes yellow
What could beat that? Oh,
Don’t scoff in that low
I will not forgo
Such pleasure; I’m no
Or you cheddar it.
Thus you make a bit
Of cheese,
A prerequisite
For one exquisite
Good wheeze:
Let’s get the grill lit
And make Welsh rarebit.
Yes please!
Our bovine-sourced feast,
Has it still not ceased?
Good grief!
No, last but not least,
Its flesh when deceased:
The beef.
The worth of this beast
Could not be increased,
In brief.
The syllable count in each triplet of lines is 5, 5, 2, and each triplet rhymes aab. The number of such triplets must be the same in each stanza, and at least two. To assert my virility, I chose to use three. According to the definition I have used, all the triplets within a stanza must use the same rhymes – so in this example the rhyming scheme for each stanza is aabaabaab
However, I have in front of me a poem by Paul Verlaine – it’s called Chanson d’Automne – which has lines the right length for a lai, but stanzas that rhyme aabccb. So is it a lai? I don’t know, but it’s a far better poem than mine, which is the important thing. 
As with many of these old forms, the effort involved in writing one is usually out of all proportion to the worth of the finished poem. But don’t let me talk you out of it!
Thanks to Bob Newman, for the above.  His site is a wonderful and reliable resource.

Related Forms: KyrielleDouble Refrain KyrielleLaiLai Nouveau, Viralai Ancien, Viralai, Virelet

Example Poem
Lai Mistletoe About
Hang the mistletoe
tie it with a bow
then wait.
You’re aware, I know
You just use it though
for bait.
It’s most apropro
how it works, with no
© Lawrencealot – November  21, 2013
Visual Template


This form was created by Kylie Routley, aka KyRenn on Allpoetry.
It consist of six quatrains, each set of three having only two rhymes.
Verse one and two being mono-rhyme, and verse three being alternating or cross rhyme.
Specifications not confirmed on meter and line length.
Be consistent.
A six stanza, mono-rhyme form with the following
Rhyme Scheme: aaaa bbbb abab cccc dddd cdcd
 Example Poem
Form a Study Group (KyRenn)
In lieu of study I chased skirts, 
Could not resist a girl that flirts. 
In life’s a meal they were desserts. 
Their pheromones are my alerts.
When any girl would wish to play, 
she knew she’d get this guy’s okay. 
If there’s  a party – right this way,
just hurry, hurry, ándale.*
My education, this subverts, 
this frivolity on display. 
I think to change, but mind reverts- 
Exciting curves!  Enticing sway!
I’d never cause a girl to fret 
or leave my presence with regret 
or leave them wanting on a bet 
should their own appetite be whet.
If fun is mutual and fair 
and drug abuse you do not bear 
just seize the joy while it is there 
for when you’re eighty you won’t care.
If on the way a mate is met
and each excites each anywhere, 
that is as good as things can get, 
so marry her and homework share.
© Lawrencealot – July 4th, 2013
  * The term ándale is variously used in Mexican slang to mean come, or okay, or finally.
Here is a Visual Template 
for an Iambic Tetrameter version:

Rosetti Stanza poetry forms

This is not a formally named poetry form, but instead a form used by Christina Rossetti, and brought to the attention of Allpoetry poets by Streambed.  I am simply giving forms a name for ease of reference as we play with them.

There are two distinct versions each with a separate syllable and rhyme pattern. Both are syllabic, rhymed sestets, and may stand as one or more stanzazs.

Version 1:  Syllabic 8/6/8/6/4/8, Rhyme Scheme: abaaba
Version 2:  Syllabic 7/6/7/7/6/7, Rhyme Scheme: ababba

Example Poem

As Others See You  (Rossetti Stanza)

If I could give a gift to you, 
to all mankind in fact, 
‘twould be to let you see the view 
of others quite exact 
eschewing tact, 
not colored by some social hue. 

You’d see what causes some to think 
you’re perfectly divine, 
and see the power in your wink 
or fear from a frown line, 
that some may assign 
when face and thought are not in sync.

© Lawrencealot – October 16, 2013

The visual template will clarify:

LaGrange Quatrain

 La Grange Quatrain created by Lisa La Grange of AllPoetry
Syllabic: 8/7/8/7
 Rhyme scheme: aba                  
Meter: Tertius paeon
dee dee DUM dee, dee dee DUM dee                                
dee dee DUM dee, dee dee DUM                                
dee dee DUM dee, dee dee DUM dee                                
dee dee DUM dee, dee dee DUM
Note alternating feminine and masculine rhymes.
 Example Poem
Forfeited Opportunity     (La Grange Quatrain)
Undeserved, he’s still receiving
approbation from the left.
While the right is past deceiving
and he forces wide the cleft.
A white guilt, earned by grandfathers
and augmented by black pride
brought to office one who bothers
not at all laws to abide.
Our first black to claim the title
has mis-used the office throne
gaining wealth as though entitled.
redistributes what’s our own.
Were I black I’d be resenting
the destruction he’s allowed;
this historic representing
should have made all races proud.
© Lawrencealot – November 2,2013
Poem my be any multiple of 4 lines.
Visual Template


A Poetry form invented on AP by Matt
A poem consisting of One stanza of Rhyme, one stanza of haiku,
 and one stanza of free verse.
The order of the components is up to the poet.
Example Poem
Without Repentance
semi-clad, somnolent,
climbing over broken logs–
kids explore their camp
There had been no time
in the circadian twilight
to properly define the false
Niagara bubbling, with snatches
of Mozart melodies
into nearby brook.
The first awake, they had to take their tawny dog and find
the wonders here that did appear, as frozen, left behind
for summer time respite.  They’d climb and swim and even shout;
for being loud was here allowed, and home-based rules were out-
maybe fleecing their sister (decreasing her oatmeal share),
Some things do last without contrast and happen anywhere.
(c) Lawrencealot – October 20, 2012
Visual Template


This is a form created by Amanda J. Norton, writing on Allpoetry as DarkButterfly.
It consists of two quatrains and a couplet
with syllables of 8/7/8/7/10/10
rhyming abab cdcd ee
There are no metric requirements.
Example Poem
May I Sit Here   (Ravenfly)
Penelope prevaricates
She’s done it throughout her life.
The truth she just approximates.
Glad she’s someone else’s wife.
She runs down gals she doesn’t know.
Bill,  when choosing where he sits
avoids her;  I would never though,
I appreciate her tits.
Besides by sitting there when ‘ere I can.
She has to slime and smear some other man.
© Lawrencealot – July 11, 2013
Visual Template


The pantoum consists of a series of quatrains rhyming ABAin which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the succeeding quatrain;
each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD .
The first line of the series recurs as the last line of the closing quatrain,
and third line of the poem recurs as the second line of the closing quatrain, rhyming ZAZA.
The design is simple:
Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4
Line 5 (repeat of line 2)
Line 6
Line 7 (repeat of line 4)
Line 8
Continue with as many stanzas as you wish, but the ending
stanza then repeats the second and fourth lines of the
previous stanza (as its first and third lines), and also
repeats the third line of the first stanza, as its second
line, and the first line of the first stanza as its fourth.
So the first line of the poem is also the last.
Last stanza:
Line 2 of previous stanza
Line 3 of first stanza
Line 4 of previous stanza
Line 1 of first stanza
NOTE: I found to meter specified for this form but on Shadow Poetry found examples from Iambic Trimeter to Pentameter
Example PoemThen She Married Me
I met her online, whatcha think of that?
In writing workshop I critiqued her work.
Then we played sensual games by chat.
Cutting out by need… the hotel desk clerk.
In writing workshop I critiqued her work.
Her stories aroused a man unfulfilled.
Cutting out by need… the hotel desk clerk.
Our minds connected; our Eros was thrilled.
Her stories aroused a man unfulfilled.
We climbed with words into each other’s head.
Our minds connected; our Eros was thrilled.
This late-night texting led me to her bed.
We climbed with words into each other’s head.
Then we played sensual games by chat.
This late-night texting led me to her bed.
I met her online, whatcha think of that?
(c) Lawrencealot April 2012
Visual Template


This form was invented by Thomas Horton of Allpoetry.
It’s called a RIDOTTO, from the Italian for “reduced.”  In a ridotto, you choose a number of syllables for your first line (x).  Your second line should be a perfect rhyming couplet with one more syllable (x+1).  The third line takes on a new rhyme, and has one fewer syllable than the first one (x-1).  Line four rhymes with line 3, and has one fewer syllable (x, or [x-1]+1).  This continues until the poem is reduced to a couplet of one syllable followed by two.
Here’s an example:
FIRST KISS  (a ridotto)
The way the soft light broke          —-> (6)
Through the branches of the oak       —-> (7)
Gave the day a glow                   —-> (5)
That you and I would know             —-> (6)
Brought to an end                     —-> (4)
Our time to pretend                   —-> (5)
And we shared                         —-> (3)
Though we were scared                 —-> (4)
Desire                                —-> (2)
Like a fire                           —-> (3)
Rife                                  —-> (1)
With life                             —-> (2)
© Thomas Horton, All Rights Reserved.
You may start with any number of syllables you like; as such, the poem may be of any length, as long was the second line of each rhyming couplet has one more syllable than the first line, and the first line of each subsequent couplet has one fewer syllable than the first line of the previous couplet.
Near rhymes don’t count; all end-rhymes should be full/strong/masculine.
I have re-phrased the instructions thus:
1. Pen a line with any number of syllables.
2. For the next line, add one syllable and rhyme with the preceding line.
3. Subtract two syllables and choose a new rhyme word.
    Repeat instructions 2 thru 3 until instruction 3 would create a zero syllable line.
Rhyme pattern  aabbccddee..etc
No metric requirement.
Example poem
Sapience (Ridotto)
To students I’ve become a bore!
Sapience has chilled me to my core.*
Their indifference dismays.
They only seek their peers’ okays.
A poem’s nothing neat
compared to sexting or tweet.
What set me aglow
they’ll never learn or know.
They are not taught
to pursue true thought
A drone’s job
will suit the mob.
Oh well
What the hell?
I know?
*Note: this line lifted in toto from
Visual template (for beginning with an even number of syllables)