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

Tho Sau Chu

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

Tho Sau Chu or Six-Word Verse [Vietnamese] is measured by word count and uses either alternate of envelope rhyme. It can be written in quatrains or octaves. When written in octaves it is called Six-Eight Poetry  The elements of the Tho Sau Chu are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. It can also be written in any number of octaves.
  2. measured by word count, 6 words per line.
  3. rhymed, either alternate, abab cdcd etc. (when written as Six-Eight abababab cdcdcdcd etc.) or envelope, abba cddc etc. (when written in octaves abbaabba cddccddc etc.)

My Example

Form: Tho Sau Chu

Old New Form Takes a Bow

This poetry form comes from Vietnam
which doesn’t rhyme with Uncle Sam
but with either mom or bomb.
Am I certain? Yes I am!

If my lines led you astray,
it’s because I’m a contrary guy.
I feel my misdirection is okay
when a second reading explains why.

I’m writing this Tho Sau Chu
(though English cannot do it proud.)
This form hereby makes its debut
with only one hundred words allowed.

I think none will be uptight
with a new form that’s presented
to shine and share the spotlight;
with ninety-six words I feel contented.

© Lawrencealot – January 31, 2015

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The Questrain is a form invented by Michelle Campbell, writing on as Mrs Campbell.

Questrain is a four line stanza with abab rhyme scheme and a 9/7/8/6 syllable count.
The first three lines introduce a topic and the last line asks a question.

My body I bestow on my man
in faithfulness I profess
starting when our marriage began.
How modest is your dress?

by Mrs Campbell

A person’s mind is a battle field
for as you think, so you do.
It’s there to temptations you’ll yield.
Who are you listening to?

by Mrs Campbell

Pasted with permission from

Specifications Restated

The Questrain is:

  • A 4 line poem.
  • Syllabic: 9/8/7/6
  • Rhymed: abab
  • Formulaic: The first three lines introduce a topic and the last line asks a question.
  • It may be centered or not.

My Example

Choice (Form: Questrain)

We’ve had the choice since the beginning.
Churches need not tell us so –
what is good and what is sinning.
Don’t we already know?

© Lawrencealot – January 9, 2015

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Dipodic Quatrain

Dipodic Quatrain is a quatrain written in podic or folk meter with 2 stressed syllables per line.
• Podic Verse or folk meter is a measure of verse simply based on the number of heavily stressed syllables in a rhymed line. The number of unstressed syllables are not considered. It is a hold over from Alliterative verse of the Anglo Saxons but instead of the irregular strophic verse, stanzas and rhyme are employed, something learned from the Normans.
The Dipodic Quatrain is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
• podic, written with 2 heavy stresses per line with no regard to the number of unstressed syllables.
• rhymed, rhyme scheme either abab cdcd etc. or aabb ccdd etc.

Crisis by Judi Van Gorder

Trouble is here
folks out of work
lost career
no pork.

Money tight
rolling up sleeves
taxes bite
family cleaves.

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

My attempt

Sacrifice for Rhyme 

Any time
I pen a verse
And use bad rhyme
It makes it worse.

Heaven knows,
my thoughts aren’t deep,
attempts at prose
puts folks to sleep.

I think dipodic
quatrains could
be hypnotic
if written good.

© Lawrencealot – December 2, 2014

Deachnadh Mor

Deachnadh Mor


Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic


Supposedly pronounced da-GNAW-moor, this is a complex Irish syllabic form. Here are the rules:

  1. The form is a stanzaic quatrain form.

  1. Lines one and three have eight syllables.

  1. Lines two and four have six syllables.

  2. The lines have di-syllabic endings, meaning the last two syllables are both involved in the consonation.

  1. The stanza consonates in an alternating (abab) pattern.

  1. There are at least two cross-rhymes in each couplet.

  1. The final word of line three rhymes with a word in the interior of line four.

  1. The internal rhyme in the first couplet can consonate instead of true rhyme.

  2. In the second couplet, rhymes are exact.

  3. Two words alliterate in each line.

  4. In line four, the final word alliterates with the previous stressed word.

  5. The poem (not the stanza) should end as it began, with a word, phrase or line the same. (Dunadh)

Obviously, with so few syllables packing so many forms of binding, it will probably be that each syllable will participate in multiple ways. One syllable might be alliterative internally, rhyming within the couplet, and consonating with the alternate line. This is not a form for beginners, and works much better in other languages, such as Gaelic. To the ancient Celts, poetry was magic. Their forms are very complex to keep the magic among the priestly (Druidic) classes. One of their poets often had the equivalent in study to a doctoral degree in our society.








(aa) = Di-syllabic consonation.
(bb) = Di-syllabic consonation.
á = True rhyme.
c, d = true rhymes or consonations binding the couplet.
e, f = true rhymes binding the couplet.

This schema does not show the alliteration.



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


Restated specifications:

Begin the poem with a two-syllable word, which will become the poem’s final word.
L1-5 (Line one syllable 5) must R/C (rhyme or consonate with L2-2.
Two words in line should alliterate.
L2-4 must R/C with L1-2. Two words in line should alliterate.
L3-2 must true rhyme with L4-4. Two words in line should alliterate.
L3-5 must true rhyme with L4-2. Two words in line should alliterate.
L4-3 must true rhyme with L3-8. Two words in line should alliterate.
Final Stanza.
The last word must be the first word of Stanza 1,
therefore will determine the end-rhyme for L2 and L4.

Venicebard – Okay, here comes some tough love. You’re missing the aicill rime (end-word rimed with word within following line) in the second couplet. Also, I’m afraid when modern specs (for Irish forms) speak of ‘consonance’, they actually mean assonance (the two words were considered equivalent a half century ago, except perhaps in the technical speech of linguists), though today the technical meaning is agreement of more than one sound (can include vowel). The cross-rimes in Dan Direach allow assonance in cross-rimes of first couplet of quatrain. Full rime in Irish, of course, itself allows substitution of like-sounding consonants (p-t-k, etc.) (By the way, this form is so close to the modern specs for Rannaigheacht Bheag as to be suspect.) It is in the Welsh forms (and proto-Welsh measures) that consonance in its modern technical meaning is utilized extensively, but the specs for Irish forms given in John O’Donovan’s A Grammar of the Irish Language show that it was what we call assonance that was called for where the modern specs tend to say ‘consonance’. (Many Irish poets themselves may be unaware of this, however, not having looked into the history of their tradition, and indeed I have only the one source to go by so far, more or less.) -Gary Kent Spain, posting as Venicebard on Allpoetry.

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Deachnadh mor

Deachnadh Cummaisc

Deachnadh Cummaisc and Deachnadh Mor are ancient Irish Verse Forms that use consonant rhyme, not true rhyme. (easier said than done.)
• The defining features of the Deachnadh Cummaisc are:
○ written in any number of quatrains.
○ syllabic 8-4-8-4 or 8-4-4-8
○ written with consonance rhyme only abab cdcd etc
○ terminated, usually written with 2 syllable end words.
○ when L3 is written with a 2 syllable end word, aicill rhyme is employed.
○ written with the defining features of most Celtic poems, cywddydd (harmony of sound) and dunadh (ending the poem with the same word, phrase or line with which the poem began) Irish Verse Forms

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

This Time of Year by Barbara Hartman

Today on Lizard Head, snow-pack 
recoils, recedes
— streams swell, dry reservoirs snapback, 
resource restored. 

Creeks cavort, rush to join rivers, 
boulders tumble. 
The Dolores races, shivers, 
quivers, trembles. 

White-water rapids slap riprap, 
romp, run away, 
Rocky Mountain snowcap renders 
runoff today.
Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

(Commonly used in Celtic verse forms.) According to the NPEOPP aicill rhyme is simply rhyming an end word of one line with a word somewhere early in the next line. Robin Skelton’s Shapes of our Singing takes it a step further and states aicill rhyme occurs when the end word of the first line is disyllabic. An on-line source describing Gaelic pronunciation takes it another step further describing aicill rhyme as occuring when the last stressed syllable of an end word rhymes with the next to last unstressed word in the next line with no mention that the end word need by disyllabic. (Gaelic examples I’ve been able to find seem to support all 3 definitions, of course I can’t really hear the stressed/unstressed definition but one example appeared as if the internal rhyme could be unstressed by the position in the line and the words around it.)

Pasted from <>

My Example

Welcome (Deachnadh Cummaisc)

Welcome, Delighted you arrived.
There’s a passel
to pass around.
So party-up! Don’t be passive.

Just shove the cat or dog away
They’ll feel perplexed,
and put awry,
but will stay, willing to partake.

They’ll willingly clean your fingers
with tongues wagging
when you’re finished.
It’s our way to make you welcome.

© Lawrencealot – November 28, 2014

Note: Below is what happens when you return to the desk, thinking that you were to be writing a poem with rhymes in assonance not consonance. This was my first effort, replaced with the above.

Welcome (Deachnadh Cummaisc)

Welcome. Delighted you arrived.
Last year callers
have all survived.
We’re festive drinkers, not brawlers.

Just shove the cat or dog aside,
although pesky
pets, they’ll abide;
It’s granpa who could get testy

We’ll jointly address your spirit
and your welfare.
Hell? Don’t fear it .
There’s someplace you’re always welcome.

© Lawrencealot – November 28, 2014

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Deachnadh Cummaisc


The Drottkvaet or Old Court Skaldic meter is one of the earliest of the Skaldic stanzaic forms. The ancient poems in this stanzaic form were full of kenning to the point of sometimes being a riddle. The two word metaphoric descriptions which dominated the poems were often so loosely connected to the meaning that it obscured understanding.

The Drottkvaet is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. The quatrains often appear as octaves because the lines are Germanic “long lines” which break in half, the half line will often be separated into a 2nd line.
• accentual, lines of 12 syllables each, broken into two halves of 6 syllables each. Each half line has 3 stressed and 3 unstressed syllables, the last two syllable of the half line must be a trochee (Su).
• rhymed, rhyme scheme aBaB a being near rhymed by assonance, B being true rhyme.
• linked as couplets by assonance.
• odd lines should have double alliteration.

Mind Melt by Judi Van Gorder

Wishing to write in sync with old Nordic climate,
breaking a bigger line, into just two tortured 
halves. Hawking trochaic meter, mental, I’m at
my wits end. Wiley words don’t dance in an orchard.

Kenning clings to mind, making mystery with nonsense,
sea birds fly overhead, smoke in the sky trailing.
Most difficult to accomplish is assonance
rhyme. My brain melts down and I find myself failing.
Links to other Skaldic meters

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

Kenning: A metaphor using 2 substitute nouns. Buried diodes = brain synapse, liquid embers = synaptic activity.

My example

Poetic Stretching (Drottkvaet)

Minding measured metric feet invokes a testing,
stressing buried diodes, sparking liquid embers.
Assonance demands much more when it’s requested
Real rhymes rise rapidly.  Those my brain remembers.

Digging deeper does delay retrieval, granted;
but the buried seed will blossom in my kettle
Maybe not right now, but someday after planting
practice such as this perhaps will boost my mettle.

© Lawrencealot – November 27, 2014

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Curtal Long Hymnal Stanza

Curtal Long Hymnal Stanza

Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Description: A stanzaic form composed of three lines of iambic tetrameter and one of iambic dimeter rhymed abab.
xX xX xX xA
xX xX xX xB
xX xX xX xA
xX xB
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 4

Pasted from
My Thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for the wonderful PoetryBase resource.

Note: The ONLY difference between this and the Curtal Quatrain is the rhyme scheme.

My Example Poem

My All [Corrected] (Curtal Long Hymal Stanza)

My friends will not critique my verse
they think that they are being kind.
my enemies are even worse
and I don’t mind.

Those folks would shout and jump with glee
and guffaw loudly when I goof
but they ignore me so can’t see
my error’s proof.

I wrote this form with half the count
of syllables required last week.
for feet took double that amount
so thus this tweak.

© Lawrencealot – May 10, 2014

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Curtal Long Hymnal Stanza


The Cuarteto, Spanish for quartet, is an Argentine genre of music and also a stanzaic form which is simply a quatrain made up of rhymed hendecasyllabic lines.

The Cuarteto is:
• stanzaic, a poem made up of any number of quatrains.
• syllabic, hendecasyllabic (11 syllable) lines.
• rhymed, either abab or abba rhyme scheme.

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

My example

Re-connected (Cuarteto)

I imagined hearing whispers from above
When my travels took me far away from you,
and from whence the whispers came I saw a view –
an image that must have been of you, my love.

Or perhaps the breeze had whispered through the tree
which had seemed to say, “Please hurry home my dear.”
I’ll accelerate the tasks that I have here
and return to one who means so much to me.
© Lawrencealot – November 23, 2014

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Viola Berg, in her book Pathways for the Poet 1977, includes invented forms patterned after some works of American poets.

The Bryant describes observations of nature as metaphor for the social and political world around us. This stanzaic form is patterned after To A Water Foul by American poet, William Cullen Bryant 1794- 1878.

The Bryant is:
• stanzaic, written in any # of quatrains
• metered, L1,L4 trimeter and L2,L3 are pentameter. Short lines are indented.
• rhymed, alternating rhymed quatrains, abab cdcd etc
• a pastoral metaphor

A Water Foul by William Cullen Bryant 
Whither, ‘midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?
Vainly the fowler’s eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
Seek’st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean side?
There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,–
The desert and illimitable air,–
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fann’d
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere:
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end,
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend
Soon o’er thy sheltered nest.
Thou’rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.
He, who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.

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

My example

Entwined (Bryant)

We followed where you went
oh mighty beast, across this open land.
Our spirits bound to yours and thus content.
In ways we understand.

Because you moved around
impermanence defined our tribe’s motif;
you were revered, your souls and ours were bound
in happiness and grief.

And though we felled your kind
fulfilling nearly all our various needs,
it was with respect only in our mind
for your intrepid breed.

© Lawrencealot – November 19, 2014

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