• The Virelai, is a narrative, an expanded Lai and a member of the Lai family of forms. A poem of a single Virelai stanza is known as a Bergerette.

The Virelai is:
○ stanzaic, any number of nonets (9 line stanzas) may be written at the discretion of the poet. One nonet is called a Bergerette or a Lai when made up of 3 tercets.
○ syllabic, syllables per line 5-5-2-5-5-2-5-5-2.
○ rhymed, it carries a running rhyme from stanza to stanza. aabaabaab bbcbbcbbc ddcddcddc etc until the end, in which the long line rhyme of the first stanza is repeated as the short line rhyme of the last stanza, ffaffaffa.

○ Telling the Storm by Judi Van Gorder

It happened at night
it gave me a fright,
the slash!
I watched it ignite
like a flame in flight
its dash
like a fighting kite
waving fiery bright,
so brash.

The thunderous crash
made the fish-tank splash.
The room
shook after the flash,
I pulled back the sash.
The womb
of the storm, the clash
was done with panache,

When done, to resume
and dispel the gloom,
I write.
To tell with a plume
and bring forth the bloom,
a light.
In time to exhume,
a poem to groom

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


My example

When Wally Wanders
When Wally Wanders (Virelai)

When Wally some way,
went walking away,
I snored.
I thought it okay
there’s little to stray
But to my dismay
without his display
I’m bored

He’s always deplored
the thought of a cord
Although I’d be floored
He would be adored
if snatched.
I’ll post a reward
to get him restored-
much scratch.

If he’s met his match
and he’s in the hatch
I may
just act with dispatch
to undo the latch
As runt of the batch
he was a fine catch,
I’d say!

© Lawrencealot – August 30, 2014

Visual template