Caudate or Tail Rhymed Stanza

The Caudate or Tail Rhymed Stanza was a popular stanzaic form in 12th-14th century England. Variations also can be found in France in the form of the Rime Couée and Scotland in the Burns Stanza. Tail Rhymed Stanza simply refers to a stanza from 6 or 12 lines long with 1 or 2 short lines that carry the same rhyme.

The Tail Rhymed Stanza is:
• stanzaic, most often written in any number of sixains but the stanzas could be 12 lines each.
• metered, often accentual with longer lines or 4 stresses and one or two lines of only 2 stresses. The lines are also found written in trochaic or iambic tetrameter with one or two lines dimeter. The shorter lines are most commonly in L3,L6,L9 & L12 but can be found in different arrangements as in the Burns Stanza
• rhymed, the most common schemes are aabaab or aabccb with L2 & L6 being the shorter lines. In a 12 line stanza common schemes are aabccbddbeeb or aabaabaabaab with L3,L6,L9 & L12 being the shorter lines.

Rural Architecture by William Wordsworth 1801

THERE’S George Fisher, Charles Fleming, and Reginald Shore,
Three rosy-cheeked school-boys, the highest not more
Than the height of a counsellor’s bag;
To the top of GREAT HOW did it please them to climb:
And there they built up, without mortar or lime,
A Man on the peak of the crag.
They built him of stones gathered up as they lay:
They built him and christened him all in one day,
An urchin both vigorous and hale;
And so without scruple they called him Ralph Jones.
Now Ralph is renowned for the length of his bones;
The Magog of Legberthwaite dale.
Just half a week after, the wind sallied forth,
And, in anger or merriment, out of the north,
Coming on with a terrible pother,
From the peak of the crag blew the giant away.
And what did these school-boys?–The very next day
They went and they built up another.
–Some little I’ve seen of blind boisterous works
By Christian disturbers more savage than Turks,
Spirits busy to do and undo:
At remembrance whereof my blood sometimes will flag;
Then, light-hearted Boys, to the top of the crag!
And I’ll build up giant with you.

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

My example

Global Warming in Buffalo (Caudate or Tail Rhymed Stanza)

Right now there is no traffic flow –
because of snow.
In Buffalo it’s piled up deep
where winter’s put on quite a show
and automobiles cannot go
where hills are steep.

Can global warming take this hit?
It does not fit!
But neither did the facts they changed
to which their emails did admit
which made some folks become a bit
more deranged.
© Lawrencealot – November 20, 2014

Visual template

Caudate or Tail Rhymed Stanza

Split Sestet

Split Sestet
Type:  Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:  Similar to rime coulée, but with generally shorter lines, the Split Sestet is rhymed aabaab with the “a” lines iambic trimeter and the “b” lines anapestic monometer.
Origin:  American
Rhyme: aabaab
xX xX xX
xX xX xX
xX xX xX
xX xX xX

Pasted from
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.

The Split Sestet appears to be the American version of a Rime Couée. This six line stanzaic form is “split” by anapestic monometer lines.

The Split Sestet is
• stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
• metric, L1,L2,L4,L5 are iambic trimeter and L3,L6 are anapestic monometer.
• rhymed, rhyme scheme aabaab ccdccd ect. 
The Last Leaf by Oliver Wendall Holmes 1895

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o’er the ground
With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
“They are gone!”

The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said–
Poor old lady, she is dead
Long ago–
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow;

But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

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

My example

Cultural Dogma (Split Sestet)

The Mormons came to call
on bikes in early fall
with their books.
And though I didn’t care
for dogma I liked their
wholesome looks.

At first I thought I’d taunt
to see if I could daunt
their belief.
Their fables were absurd
and yet their written word
spread no grief.

They had no plans to kill
non-members, if you will,
as some do.
They took as an insult
their status as a cult –
which I knew.

I’d seen much social good
In Mormon neighborhoods
in my life.
No harm to me’d been done
although I’d taken one
for my wife.

The missionaries left
not they nor I bereft
on that day.
The Muslims they exceed
in written word and deed,
any way.

© Lawrencealot – October 10, 2014

Visual Template

Split Sestet

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

Visual template

Short Particular Measure