Short Particular Measure

Short Particular Measure
All the authorities seem to agree that this has 6-line stanzas rhyming aabaab, with syllable counts of 668668 (that’s 334334 in feet). Mysteriously, all the authorities then go on to give examples with syllable counts of 448448! On the assumption that what they say is more reliable than what they do, I offer this as an example of SPM:

He made the sheep and hogs;
He made the mice and frogs,
Our great Creator sempitern –
And us, and cats, and dogs.
So say our theologues:
One day to pasta we’ll return.

Pasted from <>
My thanks to Bob Newman for his years of work on the wonderful Volecentral resource.

My example

Loosing It! (Short Particular Measure)

I’m really quite amused
when some words are misused
Since poets offered help one time
cannot be disabused
they cannot be excused.
Perhaps they ought to switch to mime.

© Lawrencealot – August 20 2014

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Short Particular Measure

Burns Stanza

Burns Stanza is the current name of the form also known as the Standard Habbie, the Scottish Stanza, or the Six-Line Stave.

Standard Habbie

Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic

Description: A stanzaic sestet with lines of two lengths and two rhymes. Lines 1, 2, 3, and 5 are four feet long with the “a” rhyme. Lines 4 and 6 are two feet long with the “b” rhyme.

Attributed to: Habbie Simson, the piper of Kilbarchan
Origin: Scottish
Schematic: Rhyme: aaabab

Meter (Iambic):

xX xX xX xX
xX xX xX xX
xX xX xX xX
xX xX
xX xX xX xX
xX xX

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My Thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his work on the wonderful poetrybase resource.

Burns Stanza

The Burns stanza is named after Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns (1759-1796). The form already existed before he made it his own; its old name was standard Habbie, after Habbie Simpson (1550-1620), the Piper of Kilbarchan, its earliest known exponent. (I have seen the spelling standart Habbie often enough to think that maybe it isn’t a misprint after all.) This form is also sometimes known as the Scottish stanza or the six-line stave.

Stanzas have 6 lines rhyming aaabab, the a lines having four feet each and the b lines two, something like this:

The Fire Brigade

Their uniforms are so divine,
A shiver tingles up my spine!
I swear I never saw so fine
A band of men.
Their mission: let nothing combine
With oxygen.

My heroes! For although each knows
The perils, through the fire he goes
Armed only with a rubber hose
With which he aims
His stream at all the reddest glows
To douse the flames.

Such gallantry! And yet he spurns
The prize his courage surely earns.
My ardour for his brave heart burns
And won’t extinguish.
I serenade him à la Burns
(Although in English).

The Burns stanza is an example of rime couée.

Notable Burns stanzas:

A great deal of Burns’ work, including To a Mouse, To a Louse, To a Haggis, etc. A nice modern example is W N Herbert’s To a Mousse.

Pasted from
My thanks to Bob Newman for his years of work on the wonderful Volecentral resource.

My Example

No Insomnia, the Fox

The foxes sleep without concern
then yawn and wake and take their turn
at foraging with time to burn;
and when they’re done
from all their worries they adjourn.
and just have fun.

I often wished that I could sleep
without a need for counting sheep
but having problems seems to keep
my mind awake
I’ve bills to pay and floors to sweep
for heaven’s sake.

The things the neighbor lady said
about another neighbor’s bread
(a cause for gustatory dread)
now interrupt
with thoughts of recipes instead
I can’t keep up.

Today I didn’t gas the car.
Tomorrow I can’t drive too far.
I’m meeting Bobby at the bar,
and with his dad!
Is that unusual? bizarre?
or is it rad?

I need to get my clothes all clean.
I’ll wash them in our new machine.
Perhaps I’ll cut down on caffeine.
And then I’ll doze
without the thinking in between,
do you suppose?

The foxes living near our yard
don’t think of debts or their bank card.
They don’t find sleeping very hard.
Live for today
is seemingly a fox canard;
can that be hard?

The foxes sleep without concern
then yawn and wake and take their turn
At foraging with time to burn;
and when they’re done
from all their worries they adjourn.
and just have fun.

The foxes sleep without a care,
their ears alert to what’s out there
detecting sounds with time to spare
and then they play.
It’s here and now, not when and where.
Let’s live today!

© Lawrencealot – August 4, 2014
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(6 lines or multiple)
Burns Stanza


  • The Scallop is an invented stanzaic form written in sixains. It was created by Marie L Blanche Adams.
    The Scallop is:

    • stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
    • syllabic, 2/4/6/6/4/2 syllables per line.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme abccba deffed ghiihg etc.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My example poem
What Need for Rhyme    (Scallop)
What need
have you for rhyme?
Is there a purpose served,
are rhyming words deserved
all of the time?
If I
should someday choose
to forego rhyming verse
my spirit would be worse
and I would lose,
so why?
© Lawrencealot –  April 4, 2014
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  • The Logolilt is an invented verse form that features diminishing line length. It was created by Flozari Rockwood.The Logolilt is:
    • stanzaic written in any number of sixains made up of 2 tercets each.
    • syllabic, 8/4/2/8/4/2 8/4/2/8/4/2.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme aabccb ddeffe. (aabccbddeffe)
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example
I Taught My Grandkid, Too (Logolilt)
I frequently find I must dunk
a yummy chunk
my hot chocolate or coffee-
that’s just like me.
Do You?
© Lawrencealot – April 1, 2014
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Rime Couée

Rime Couée is a tail-rhymed verse form of 12th century Provencal troubadours. Though it originated in France, it is thought to be the predecessor of the more popular Scot form, the Burns Stanza. 
The Rime Couée is:
  • stanzaic, written in any number of sixains made up of two tercets.
  • accentual, folk meter of normal speech. L1,L2, L4, L5 are longer lines of a similar length, L3 and L6 are shorter lines of the same length.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme aabccb, ddeffe etc.
Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO resource.
My example Poem
St. Joseph Lighthouse – Lake Michigan        (Rime Couée)
St Joseph Lighthouse
When Old Man Winter struts his stuff
to show that he is good enough
he paints in white.
Unlike the art-work done by Spring
where colors touch most everything
pastel or bright.
His canvass can be anything
a bridge a tree, an old coil spring
that’s left outside.
St. Joseph lighthouse shown above
received full measure of his love.
I’m satisfied.
©Lawrencealot – February 8, 2014
Photo Credit:  Facebook  – unknown, Rights belong to photographer
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9:56 AM
Form: Sestalena
Invented by: Caroline Ann Gordon on Allpoetry
syllabic  6/8/8/6/8/6
rhyme    abbaba
Length 6 lines
a Lines Iambic Trimeter
b Lines Iambic Tetrameter
Example Poem
Apprenticeship     (Sestalena)
I found that gasoline
is not accelerant preferred
for burning work-site junk.  A nerd,
they let me learn just fine,
The boom! The bounce! I looked absurd.
The blast turned out benign.
Construction guys have fun
in teaching newbies with a sting.
First wheelbarrow I tried to bring
across a plank built run
On my first turn, I dumped the thing.
Applause by everyone.
The egg noodles were free
but changed the texture quite a bit
of my jam sandwich- a new hit.
My colleagues laughed with glee.
The jokes on me just never quit.
Yet, all were good for me
The AM radio
that day in nineteen sixty-three,
announced the death of Kennedy
so that is how I know
when noodle sandwich jubilee
became a subdued show.
But thanking good old Zeus,
I transitioned from labor skills
to other ways to pay my bills.
So I have no excuse
my poems don’t provide more thrills,
I’m just a bit obtuse.
  © Lawrencealot – January 10, 2013
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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
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Mirror Sestet

The Mirror Sestet, created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a poem that can be
written in one or more stanzas of 6 lines each. The specific guidelines for
this form are as follows:
The first word of line 1 rhymes with the last word of line 1.
The first word of line 2 is the last word of line 1 and the
last word of line 2 is the 1st word of line 1.
The first word of line 3 rhymes with the last word of line 3.
The first word of line 4 is the last word of line 3 and the
last word of line 4 is the 1st word of line 3.
The first word of line 5 rhymes with the last word of line 5.
The first word of line 6 is the last word of line 5 and the
last word of line 6 is the 1st word of line 5.
The Mirror Sestet can also be written in non-rhyme.
All rules must be followed except there is no 1st and last word rhyming.
Example Poem
It Worked
“Turds like him can speak in fancy words.
Words that  promise much. Those phony turds.
Great gods I fell for it.”  Here I wait,
Wait for Merlin to do something great.
“Smile for then he’ll make it worth your while.
While there, he’ll match figure to your smile.”
Visual Template


This form was invented by Sector-Hunter on  simply for people to have
fun while creating short poems with internal rhyme.

The Dreamscape is a form with only the following requirements:

There are two tercet stanzas.

The first two lines in each have rhyming beginning and ending words.

The third line needs no rhyme, and summarize the first two.
No line length or meter requirements.

I tried to show the smallest possible stanza, along with normal one.

Example Poem