Bob and Wheel

Bob and Wheel
Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Appendages
Description: Rather than being a form that verse is actually written in, the Bob and Wheel often is found at the end of some other verse form as a tail.
The bob is anywhere from one accented syllable to a couple of feet long. It may be an enjambment from the last line of the verse it is appended to, or it may enjamb down into the wheel.
The wheel consists of four lines that are three verse feet long.
The rhyme scheme for the Bob and Wheel is “a baba.
The Bob and Wheel might appear indented from the rest of the verse that precedes it. In some cases, although not usually, the Bob and Wheel may be burden, in other words, repeated like a chorus.
Origin: English
Schematic: a baba
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 5
Line/Poem Length: 5

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My thanks to Charles Weatherford for his wonderful Poetrybase resource.

Bob and wheel is the common name for a metrical device most famously used by the Pearl Poet in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The feature is found mainly in Middle English and Middle Scots poetry, where the bob and wheel occur typically at the end of a stanza. The “bob” is a very short line, sometimes of only two syllables, followed by the “wheel,” longer lines with internal rhyme. There are at least forty known examples of bob and wheel use, but the origin of the form is obscure. It seems to predate the Pearl Poet. Bob and wheel is not used often in modern poetry.

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bob and wheel, in alliterative verse, a group of typically five rhymed lines following a section of unrhymed lines, often at the end of a strophe. The bob is the first line in the group and is shorter than the rest; the wheel is the quatrain that follows the bob.

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My example

They come
tracking evil men–
hear their spirits thrum.
Certain death. Amen!

This appended to my Poem: Retribution.
Evil will succumb.

See this appended to a poem: