Deibhidhe Guilbnech Dialtach

Deibhidhe (jay-vée) and its variations are dán direach. These ancient Irish Verse Forms carry a deibhidhe or light rhyme. Meaning that each rhymed couplet rhymes a stressed end syllable with an unstressed end syllable. In English rhyme is usually between 2 stressed syllables (yellow/ mellow, time/ rhyme ) but Celtic verse often deliberately rhymes a stressed and unstressed syllable (distress / angriness, west / conquest), easier said than done. As with most ancient Irish forms the Deibhidhes are written with cywddydd (harmony of sound) and dunadh (ending the poem with the same word, phrase or line with which the poem began)Note: When writing in English it is sometimes very difficult to meet the stringent requirements of dan direach, so example poems are included that may not always demonstrate all of the features described.

• Deibhidhe Guilbnech Dialtach is:
○ written in any number of quatrains,
○ each line has 7 syllables.
○ rhymed, aabb.
○ alliterated, alliteration between two words in each line,
○ all end-words should consonate.

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

A wonderful example I found:

A Deibhidhe* on Clocks Stuck at Midnight
by Gary Kent Spain

angel imp with withered wing
from chains delivered limping
then bossed, denied might and means
while men tossed you pied pipedreams

drab duality’s fall meant
full equality’s advent:
did distaste since harbored hide
hate’s misplaced ardor inside?

how clamped tight is your grasp, ghost
of the past: light the lamppost
change the spinner, hound out hell
bound by your inner angel

* (pronounced “jay-vee”)

Kent’s notes
Deibhidhe (pronounced “jay-vee”) is an ancient Irish measure consisting of 7-syllable lines rimed in couplets on the last syllable, stressed with unstressed. This poem has all the bells and whistles of Dan Direach (‘strict meter’): cross-rimes on every stress, alliteration in every line—preferably between last two stressed words (this last a requirement in the 3rd and 4th lines of each quatrain)—and the dunadh (first syllable, word, phrase, or line repeated in closing).
This poem (I think fairly obviously) addresses keeping up with the last half-century’s change in the general attitude towards race in America (on the part of those who were once victims of widespread discrimination and prejudice).

My example poem

Or, More Likely, Snow (Deibhidhe Guilbnech Dialtach)

Streamlets rushing from mountain’s source
become cascading creeks of course.
Creeks combine in the course of time
with mountain’s mandate being prime.

The brooks that babble then will merge
into a river’s rapid surge
and kissing, carve the mountain’s face
removing, rock which slowed its pace.

Great and ginormous rivers flow
to seas– there seized into escrow
where they await their great refrain
on mountain tops to fall as rain.

© Lawrencealot – August 7, 2014

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Deibhidhe Guilbnech Dialtach

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