Wreathed and Unwreathed Quatrain

The following description is reposted with permission from The Poets Garret. My thanks to Ryter Roethicle.

Wreathed and Unwreathed Quatrains

Wreathed poetry is simply a natural blending of English poetry with the Celtic Welsh. Its creator George Herbert was born into a wealthy artistic family in Wales and later was educated in Trinity College, Cambridge and was unpublished until after his death. It is believed that his poem A Wreath was inspired by the Welsh form Englyn cryrch which uses an internal rhyme scheme with an external one and gives a couplet scheme of:

x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.

The red in the second line indicates that the internal rhyme can be anywhere in the first part of second line and can be a repeat word rather than a rhyme. that is the poets decision. There is no internal rhyme in the first line, It was later that poets saw the possibilities and created the quatrain with a rhyme scheme of:

x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.
x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.

Here is an example of that form by George Herbert: 

A Wreath

A wreathed garland of deserved praise, 
Of praise deserved, unto thee I give, 
I give to thee, who knowest all my wayes, 
My crooked winding wayes, wherein I live, 

Wherein I die, not live : for life is straight, 
Straight as a line, and ever tends to thee, 
To thee, who art more farre above deceit, 
Then deceit seems above simplicitie. 

Give me simplicitie, that I may live, 
So live and like, that I may know thy wayes, 
Know them and practise them : then shall I give 
For this poore wreath, give thee a crown of praise.

George Herbert (1593 – 1633)

Unwreathed Poetry

Later poets realised that some Irish forms led with an internal form and from that was born Un-wreathed poetry, simply the reverse of Wreathed in that the first line starts with an internal rhyme with the second external and so on, there being no fifth line there is no external rhyme, giving it a basic rhyme scheme of:

x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.
x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.
x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.

Wreath Quatrain

You are all alone and the future’s looking bleak
But will that bleakness last until the dawn
Pray before dawn your love again will speak.
What good is luck when your lover has gone

Ryter Roethicle


My Example

Form: Wreathed Quatrain
Rhyme Scheme: a(a/b)(b/a)(a/b)

Rain’s Glow

How sweet it was to look below
and view the show below the clouds.
The multi-colored shrouds I know
was heaven’s glow to please vast crowds.

How fortunate, I thought was I
having a chance to fly above
prism hues of what must apply
when fairies paint the sky with love.

A refraction of each photon
off drop impinged upon, now spray
colors everyway from dawn
until the moisture’s dried away.

© Lawrencealot – March 1, 2015

Visual Template

Note: Although the template is for an eight syllable poem, this is not a mandated requirement.


The following description and example ares reposted with permission from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on that fine resource.

The Folía is a nonsensical or a ridiculous poem, originating in 16th century Spain, probably influenced by a Portuguese dance song.

The elements of the Folía are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any # of quatrains.
  2. syllabic, 8 syllables lines or shorter.
  3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abab cdcd etc.
  4. ridiculous or nonsensical.

    Silly Willy by Judi Van Gorder

    In old 16th century Spain
    when poets felt a bit silly
    they’d dance circles round in the rain
    and write rhymed verse willy nilly.

My Example

Form: Folía

Bump and Grind

A kangaroo on roller skates
and polar bear on skis
were clumsy when they went on dates
excuse them if you please.

© Lawrencealot – February 11, 2015

Séadna Mheadhanach

Séadna mheadhanach is:
○ the same as the Séadna.
○ except the 1st and 3rd lines of the quatrain are 3 syllable words and the 2nd and 4th lines are 2 syllable words.

x x x x x (x x a)
x a x x x (x b)
x x x b x (x x c)
x b x c x (x b)

Syllabic Silliness
by Judi Van Gorder

When writing verse be attendant,
confidant in the stillness
with syllable count dependant,
drill and chant shunning shrillness.

Pasted from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My Example

Form: Séadna Mheadhanach

2nd Childhood

Observe how gramps does emulate
what kids create in youthful
wonder at almost everything.
He thinks that time is fruitful.
That youth he’d yearn to peculate
this late in lifetime’s reserve
because there’s something wonderful
in whatever they observe.

© Lawrencealot – January 21, 2015

Visual Template


Retournello: Created by Flozari Rockwood
Any number of quatrains.
Syllabic Count: 4-6-8-4
Rhyme Scheme: a-b-b-a c-d-d-c e-f-f-e etc.

Doomsday: May 21, 2011

4a Some say Doomsday
6b earthquake cracks open graves.
8b Only the Christian dead God saves.
4a The rest Earth’s prey.
4c Believers rise–
6d the living and the dead,
8d rest in torment is what is said.
4c Fill crowded skies?
4e To date Rapture
6f some claim Bible reckons
8f October end of world beckons.
4e Left to nature.
4g We’ll wait and see
6h this is just another guess.
8h Time will tell if this time it’s yes–
4g this prophesy

My Thanks to Linda Varsell Smith for her contributions above.

My example

Our Parrot (Form: Retournello)

A neon green
and neon carrot bird
wears other colors quite absurd.
Isn’t it keen?

© Lawrencealot – January 13, 2015

Written for contest, exactly 15 words.

Visual template



Spanish Poetry
The Endecha is a ” The Canción triste que encierra un lamento”, (“sad song that locks up a moan”), a 16th century Spanish dirge or song of sorrow.

The Endecha is
• stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
• syllabic, written with 7-7-7-11 syllables per line.
• rhymed, rhyme scheme xaxa xbxb etc., x being unrhymed. The rhyme is often consonance only but true rhyme may be used.

Cold Forever –Judi Van Gorder
It tears at my heaving breast
and rips out my grieving heart,
pain of losing him denies
all memories, leaving me lost and apart.

Precious promises ended,
our never and our always
lie cold inside his casket.
I’m left behind to mourn my nights and my days.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1017
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Necessity, the Mother of Suspension

Necessity, the Mother of Suspension (Endecha)

Erection continuing
yet I badly have to pee.
My girl-friend likes Cialis
but it makes pointing down, recent history.

© Lawrencealot – December 8, 2014

Visual template


Goliardic Verse

Goliardic Verse (Germanic verb to sing or entertain) was a popular verse of the Goliards, wandering scholars of the 12th and 13th century in rhymed and accented Latin. The form became linked with satire specifically, mockery of the Church.

Goliard Verse is:
• syllabic, 13 syllable lines, in hemistiches of 6 and 7 syllables. Sometimes L4 is only 12 syllables.
• stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
• mono-rhymed, lines end in feminine rhyme. Rhyme scheme aaaa bbbb.

Lament by Judi Van Gorder 

Mother Church serves the poor, it is one of her niches.
Now she’s been tested with threat to her riches 
by former altar boys, abused, turned into snitches, 
claiming clerics have strayed, unzipping their britches.

Pasted from <http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1077>
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

My Example

Unless Twice Perverted (Goliard Verse)

All cults and churches too, deserve a bit of mocking
(On fables they are based); that millions bite is shocking.
We’ve all heard tales of priests and choirboys they’ve been stalking.
I’ll bet there’ve been girls too, but they have not been talking.

© Lawrencealot – November 14, 2014

Visual template

Goliard Verse

Tranquil Waters

Tranquil Waters is an invented form (aren’t they all) created by Robin Richardson Jr. writing as Sector-Hunter on Allpoetry.com.

It is Stanzaic, consisting of any number of quatrains.
It is Syllabic, 5/4/4/3
It is Rhymed: xaxa, with unique rhymes each stanza.
There is no metric requirement.

My example

Planetary Etchings (Tranquil Waters)

If Velikovski
is proven right
old beliefs it
will indict.

The cosmologists
who rule today
will rewrite their

not gravity
played the larger
role you see.

The proof’s on our earth,
and it’s on Mars!
Birkeland currents
fuel our stars.

© Lawrencealot – September 24, 2014

Visual Template

Tranquil Waters


Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) is a book for and by educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms which appear to have been invented as teaching tools or exercizes for use in workshops or classrooms are included. Some of these invented forms I have found in use in internet poetry communities, a testament to their staying power. On this page I include the metric invented forms found there in which appear to be exclusive to the community of educators from whom Ms. Berg drew her support. I have yet to find these in any other source. …. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.

The Louise is a stanzaic form that seems to be an exercise in using feminine and masculine endings. It was created by Viola Berg.

The Louise is:
stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
metered. L1, L2, L3 are pentameter (5 metric feet), L4 is iambic dimeter (2 metric feet)
composed with L1 and L3 with feminine (unstressed) endings.
rhymed. L2 and L4 rhyme. Rhyme scheme xaxa xbxb etc x being unrhymed.
Land Ho! by Judi Van Gorder
So long ago, adventure for a sailor, 
with well supplied, staunch ships Columbus sailed 
without a means to navigate the water 
New land they hailed.
Pasted from  http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1199#dionol
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Commanding Stuff   (Louise)

 Commanding Stuff

The lightning slicing through the sky can frighten
the most established and contented folk
but others wait for thunder’s crash proclaiming
it’s not a joke.


© Lawrencealot – September 15, 2014

Picture credit: Theresa Clark from Pinterest

Visual Template


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 http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1173#guilbnech
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


The Breccbairdne is oglachas, a casual imitation of dán díreach, an ancient, stanzaic Irish Form in which all end words are 2 syllables.

The defining features of the Breccbairdne are:
• written in any number of quatrains.
• syllabic, L1 is 5 syllables and L2,L3,L4 are 6 syllables each.
• rhymed xaxa xbxb etc x being unrhymed.
• all end-words are 2 syllables each.
• written with the defining features of most Celtic poems, cywddydd (harmony of sound) meaning alliteration, consonance and assonance and dunadh (ending the poem with the same word, phrase or line with which the poem began).

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

Easy to Please by Judi Van Gorder
Faces of children
from different places
will wiggle with giggles
to make funny faces.
Pasted from <http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1179>
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on the PMO resource.
My example poem

Roses (Breccbairdne)

Roses revealing
appeal to near noses
share scents from their flowers;
thorns safeguard the roses.

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