Double Glose

Double Glose
Type: Structure, Repetitive Requirement, Other Requirement
Description: The double glose uses each line of the texte as a refrain, twice in the poem. One was done as a Stave where the line is both first and last of the glossing verse.
Origin: Spanish/Portuguese
Schematic: Varies

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

Since there are numerable differences in the interpretation of the proper formal requirement of the Glose, sub-forms have been invented which specifically mandate requirements which might or might not be chosen when writing a Glose.

The glose originated in Spain, where it is known as the glosa.

I am presenting here only one reference to the Glose itself, from a site which appears no longer active, (November 2014) but which presented the following fine overview.

The Glosa was used by poets of the Spanish court and dates back to the late 14th and early 15th century. For some reason, it has not been particularly popular in English. A search of the Internet search will uncovered a meager number of brief references to the form. From the limited information it is learned that the traditional structure has two parts. The first part is called the texte or cabeza. It consists of the first few lines (usually four) or the first stanza (usually a quatrain) from a well-known poem or poet. It has become permissible to use lines from a less well-known poet, or even from ones own verse.
The second part is the glose or glosa proper. This is a “gloss on,” an expansion, interpretation or explanation of the texte. The formal rule describes the glosa as consisting of four ten-line stanzas, with the consecutive lines of the texte being used as the tenth line (called the glossing) of each stanza. Furthermore, lines six and nine must rhyme with the borrowed tenth. Internal features such as length of lines, meter and rhyme are at the discretion of the poet. Examples of this will be found in this chapbook collection.
As with most poetic forms, unless dictated by strict contest requirements, poets have taken the liberty to vary the format. In addition to the glosa’s traditional ten-line stanzas, one will find 4-, 5- and 8-liners. They will be found written in free verse, with meter, and with rhyme. In the shorter variations. You will find variations in which the first line of each stanza (taken from the original texte) repeated again as the last line – added as a refrain. When the first line is repeated as the refrain at the end of a poem the stanza form is referred to as an Envelope.
Another variation of a short glosa poem has to do with the location of the borrowed line. It can be the first line, the last line, or one inserted into the body of the stanza. Yet another variation is the use of the first four lines of a prose piece as the texte.
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Restated specification for the Double Glose
The first part is called the texte or cabeza. It consists of the first few lines (usually four) or the first stanza (usually a quatrain) from a well-known poem or poet. It has become permissible to use lines from a less well-known poet, or even from ones own verse. It is presented as an epigram beneath the title of your own poem
The following Glose or Glosa proper is
Stanzaic: consisting of as many stanzas, as there are lines in your texte,
each having a line length of the poets choosing
Metered: With a consistent meter of the poet’s choosing
Rhymed or not with a pattern of the poet’s choosing
Formulaic: Each line of the texte shall be both the first and list lines of succeeding stanzas.
Related forms listed here: Glose, Double Glose, Top Glose

Example Poem
Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea,
Is the song that my spirit is singing to me.
-from Song of the Spirit
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue,
my thoughts dance and flutter on gossamer wings.
Elusively trapped in the webs I have spun
feelings that from my soul’s core have been wrung
in poems conceived when my heart soars and sings.
Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue.

In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
I long to give birth to them, set them all free.
The source I must find from which they have sprung,
then gathers the jewels I will find there among,
hat I might expound them in my poetry.
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung.

As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea,
where voices of whales transverse distance and time,
all coming together in sweet harmony,
a harvest of gold born of my own psyche
are verses all written in metrical rhyme.
As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea.

Is the song that my spirit is singing to me
forever to be an elusive refrain
that haunts me and taunts me with sweet melody
while mem’ry deserts me,  ignores every plea?
I cannot quite grasp or its beauty retain:
Is the song that my spirit is singing to me.

© Patricia Curtis, 2011

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Visual template for this Double Glose
This poet chose sestet stanzas in catalectic amphibrach tetrameter,
With each stanza’s rhyme scheme being AbaabA.

Double Glose


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 exercises 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 Repete is an invented form similar to the Rondel. It was introduced by Viola Berg. Although it is 14 lines it does not pretend to be a sonnet. 

The Repete is:
○ a quatorzain made up of an octave and a sestet.
○ metric, iambic tetrameter.
○ rhymed, turned on only 2 rhymes, rhyme scheme ABababAB ababAB
○ L1 becomes a refrain repeated L7 & L13 and L2 is a refrain repeated in L8 & L14.

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

My example

Impulse Buyer (Repete)

I think my missteps all have come
when swept away in ecstasy.
When bored my actions aren’t so dumb;
I contemplate what costs might be
and calculate events to come.
I’m prey to hospitality.
I think my missteps all have come
when swept away in ecstasy.

It maiden beats a sensual drum
my common sense is history.
I’ve married oft enough, then some,
but age has calmed me down, you see.
I think my missteps all have come
when swept away in ecstasy.

© Lawrencealot -September 21, 2014

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.

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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
Visual Template
(6 lines or multiple)
Burns Stanza

Swinburne's Sestet

The form is patterned after Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “Ilicet”

It is stanzaic, consisting of any number of sestets.
It is metered, written in iambic tetrameter.
It is rhymed: aabccb, with all but the b-rhymes being feminine.

My example poem
Retribution – Part 1 (Swinburne Sestet)
The desert stretched before the brothers
with air that clings and nearly smothers
and things that live here go to ground.
Now only driven desperation
could make them risk the dehydration
that others crossing here had found.
The renegades had raped and slaughtered
both Henry’s wife and teen-aged daughter
while Tom and he had been away.
The men had now a fearful mission
and they would kill with no contrition
but first they had to live today.
Their water gone, their strength was failing.
Despite the sun, Tom’s face was paling
The waterhole was miles ahead.
Now… just ahead- they were arriving
the waterhole that meant surviving,
without the water they’d be dead.
The spring was poisoned by the outlaws
their evil, dammit, was without flaws.
In it were bloated putrid sheep.
The sun was hot and acted willing
to help them with their slow distilling
enough to drink then more to keep.
The next two days they traveled nightly
and persevered ’til sun shone brightly.
They set their horses free to roam
in foothills. To continue healthy
their only movements must be stealthy.
or death would call these mountains home.
Each bandit kept his horse and cattle-
delighted with their ill-gained chattel
and forced therefore to stick to trails.
The brothers both had served as trackers
and army scouts, and were not slackers,;
they were in fact as hard as nails.
One had a crossbow, one a rifle
both carried knives to wreak reprisal.
Now vengeance was their only aim.
The renegades had thrived on terror,
but their last raid had been an error
now retribution surely came.
© Lawrencealot – July 21, 2014
Visual template

The Dobson

The Dobson is named for Henry Austin Dobson (1840-1921), 19th century English poet, patterned from his The Garden Song.  Dobson was respected in his time for his use of French forms especially his mastery of the Triolet.

The Dobson is:

  • stanzaic, written in any number of sixains made up of 3 rhymed couplets.
  • metered, most often written in tetrameter.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme aabbcc ddeeff etc.

A Garden Song by Henry Austin Dobson
HERE in this sequester’d close
Bloom the hyacinth and rose,
Here beside the modest stock
Flaunts the flaring hollyhock;
Here, without a pang, one sees
Ranks, conditions, and degrees.
All the seasons run their race
In this quiet resting place,
Peach and apricot and fig
Here will ripen and grow big;
Here is store and overplus,–
More had not Alcinoüs!
Here, in alleys cool and green,
Far ahead the thrush is seen;
Here along the soutern wall
Keeps the bee his festival;
All is quiet else–afar
Sounds of toil and turmoil are.
Here be shadows large and long;
Here be spaces meet for song;
Grant, O garden-god, that I,
Now that none profane is nigh,–
Now that mood and moment please,–
Find the fair Pierides!
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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the fine resource above.

My Example poem
Banana Peels (The Dobson)
Banana Peels
Bothersome banana peels
Getting underneath my heels
Possibly an oversight
or a trick that’s not polite.
Comics slide on them for fun,
clowns as well are not outdone.
© Lawrencealot – June 22, 2014
Visual Template
The Dobson

The Chesterson

This is a poetry form used by Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) better known as G.K. Chesterton, was an English writer,lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist. He used it to write the epic: The Ballad of the White Horse.
The Chesterson
Stanzaic: Any number of sestets.
Metered: The 2nd and 6th line are Iambic trimeter, the rest iambic tetrameter.
Rhymed: abaaab
My example poem
The Night I Didn’t Go to Jail (The Chesterton)
Midnight adventures; too much drink
had landed me in jail
more often than I’d like to think.
Tonight you found me on the brink
and posited that I re-think.
You had no cash for bail.
“That drink is just a substitute
for being with a girl.
Although I’m just a prostitute
you told me that you thought I’m cute.
The cops can never prosecute
if freely we do whirl.”
I’ve never quite been eighty-sixed
in such a pleasant way.
I briefly found myself transfixed
my mind was numb, my feelings mixed,
until to mine, her lips affixed;
now everything’s okay.
© Lawrencealot – June 20, 2014
Visual Template
The Chesterson

Meisenheimer’s Sestet

This form was created by Glenn Meisenheimer, aka gmcookie on Allpoetry.
It is stanzaic consisting of two or more sestet stanzas.
It is syllabic, each stanza being a sestet of 11/8/11/11/11/8 syllables.
It is metrical, with the long lines consisting of three anapestic feet and an iamb, and each short line consisting of two anapestic feet and an iamb.
Rhyme pattern:  xabbba
My Example
April 7th Phone Call     (Meisenheimer’s Sestet)
And what was the promise that went unfulfilled,
and why did it happen like that?
You promised to cherish, to love and obey
I promised the same yet you left me one day
and none of my pleas could persuade you to stay
so home with my two boys I sat.
But one time you tried to rejoin me and them;
by then I was slightly involved.
I’d promised another to be her escort
one day to a wedding as symbol of sorts.
I’d told you I’d promised and could not abort-
one day! then the problem’d be solved.
One day was too much for your too needy heart
I think you’d expected I’d stay
and forget a promise for now things were changed.
I couldn’t and wouldn’t get things rearranged
so after a month we were newly estranged.
You took our girls; you went away.
And what was the promise that went unfulfilled,
that caused you to call me last night?
You’re dying and know it and facing the end,
have mem’ries to reckon with, fences to mend.
You know I still love you and think you my friend.
I wish that could make it alright.
© Lawrencealot – April 8, 2014
Visual Template


  • The Seox (seox in Anglo Saxon means six) is a verse form written in 6 lines in keeping with its name. It was created by Ann Byrnes Smith.The Seox is:
    • a poem in six lines, a hexastich.
    • syllabic, 3/7/6/5/4/3 syllables per lines.
    • unrhymed.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example Poem
A Way Out     (Seox)
When it is
practically impossible
to force your words to march
to any set rhyme
or metric flow
use this form.
© Lawrencealot – April 5, 2014


Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Isosyllabic, Pivot Requirement
A poem based on six-line verses with a closing couplet. Here are Chuck’s rules:
  1. The Sheshire is comprised of three stanzas of 6 lines with a rhyme scheme of either ABABAB or ABCABC. Completed by a rhymed couplet.
  2. Each line has the same number of syllables. The one exception to this is the last line, which may have up to six additional syllables. The additional syllables must a phrase that is set aside (by parenthesis or dashes, for example). If this aside is removed, the correct syllable count would be there and the line would remain a reasonable sentence.
  3. Each stanza should have a shift in tone. The ending couplet should leave the reader (or at least the poet) with a grin. It can be a darkly ironic grin, but a grin, nonetheless.
The derivation is from the Hebrew words shesh and shir or shira meaning six poem.
Attributed to:
Charles David Lipsig
American (Jewish)
Rhyme: ababab or abcabc
Total schema:
ababab cdcdcd efefef gg or
abcabc defdef ghighi jj
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
Line/Poem Length:
See Also:
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for the wonderful resource quoted. 
  • The Sheshire is an invented verse form by Jewish-American poet Charles David Lipsig found at Poetry BaseThe name comes from Hebrew six=shesh and poem=shir.The Sheshire is:
    • a poem of 20 lines made up of 3 sixains followed by a couplet.
    • isosyllabic except the last line which includes the same # of syllables as the previous lines plus a finishing phrase separated from the base line by caesura.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme ababab cdcdcd efefef gg or abcabc defdef ghighi jj.
    • composed with a pivot or change of tone from stanza to stanza and ends with a note of irony.
 My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource quoted. 
Example Poem
Shovel Snow (Sheshire)
When I was only nine or ten
and winter’s chilly nights dumped snow,
I loved to help my daddy then
We’d bundle up, he’d say, “Let’s go!”
Together, we two working men
would scrape and push and scoop and throw.
Into my teens I found it paid
to take my shovel- make the rounds
to work for those who were dismayed
how quickly that white stuff abounds.
While others in their warm homes stayed
I worked with scraping, grunting sounds.
I had no sons to share the task.
Our drive was shaded by our house;
“Please clean the walk,” my wife would ask.
Of course one ought to please one’s spouse
so covered up, and with ski-mask
I worked. It did no good to grouse.
Retired and lazy now I nap
or read or watch my football game. (Let teens now do that crap!)
© Lawrencealot – February 2, 2014
Visual Template

Sicilian Sestet

Sicilian Sestet
Possessing similar origins, as the Italian Sestet, 
the Sicilian sestet had no set meter, but the 
anglicised version uses Iambic tetrameter or pentameter.
The rhyme pattern is as follows; ababab
Example Poem
Write a Sicilian Sestet
Sicilian sestets have most simple rhyme. 
The metric foot can be both four and five,
(but not at once), just one poem at a time. 
Here pentameter iambs are alive. 
Don’t strain yourself in finding rhyme like I’m. 
Just think ahead and then you can survive. 
© Lawrencealot – July 25, 2012
Visual Template