Cywydd llosgyrnog

Cywydd llosgyrnog, ców-idd llos-gr-notheg, 12th codified ancient Welsh Meter, a Cywydd, is composed in sixains. It is speculated that the Welsh poets learned this meter from a common medieval Latin hymn form.

The Cywydd llosgyrnog is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
• syllabic, the sixain is made up of 8-8-7-8-8-7 syllable lines.
• rhymed, L1 and L2 end-rhyme is echoed somewhere in the middle of L3 (3rd, 4th, or 5th syllables). L4 and L5 end-rhyme is echoed somewhere in the middle of L6. L3 and L6 end rhyme.

x x x x x x x A
x x x x x x x A
x x A x x x B (A could shift position slightly)
x x x x x x x C
x x x x x x x C
x x C x x x B (C could shift position slightly)
Y mae goroff a garaf
O gof aelaw aga a folaf
O choeliaf gael i chalon’
Am na welais i myn Elien
O Lanurful ilyn Aerfen
wawr mor wen o’r morynion
— Dafydd ap Demwnd[/i]
Friend or Foe by Judi Van Gorder

Knight of the Round Table, King’ s friend,
the fabled handsome one, men commend,
lived to defend, valor seen,
Sir Lancelot earned his reward.
Though prowess unmatched with the sword,
betrayed his Lord, loved his queen. 

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

My example

The Evil of Dorian Johnson

The Evil of Dorian Johnson (Cywydd llosgyrnog)

Had he not lied, I have no doubt
the race-baiters would have found clout
based upon the past grievous acts –
not current facts, but an excuse.
Men’s Billy-clubs and dogs turned loose
and past abuse against blacks.

Liar became provocateur
with consequences real and sure.
“Hands-up” became a news-reel theme
that fit the scheme of liberal guilt
to ratchet hatred to the hilt
and tilt acts to the extreme.

Their community has been wrecked
and clearly left without respect.
Some children have no Christmas hopes
all caused by mopes* of thuggish bent
for whom this cultural descent
to crime meant – a city gropes.

One perp whose lie became a blaze,
that caused a city to be razed.
If there is justice anywhere
he ought to wear perpetual shame 
and be singled out by his name;
he’s to blame for much despair.

© Lawrencealot – November 26, 2014

Author Notes:
Dorian Johnson (accomplice in the convenience store robbery and witness
against Officer Wilson) Not only does he contradict himself in his own
statements in the same session, but makes unsustainable and impossible
claims about the event that are impossible to have happened.

*Mope(From Urban dictionary)
A person of any race or culture that is: presenting themselves as uneducated
(either by mannerisms or the clothing they are wearing). Plural = Mopes
Mopes usually are up to no good and may have an extensive criminal
record and a limited vocabulary.

Visual template
Cywydd llosgyrnog

Cywydd deuair hirion

Cywydd deuair hirion ców-idd dyé-ire héer-yon (long-lined couplet), the 10th codified ancient Welsh Meter, aCywydd, alternates rhyme between rising and falling end syllables. 

The Cywydd deuair hirion is:
• stanzaic, written in any number of couplets.
• made up of 7 syllable lines,

rhymed, the rhyming syllables traditionally alternate between stressed and unstressed. (“flow” and “follow” might end two consecutive lines, the stressed syllable of flow rhymes with the unstressed syllable of follow). This is contrary to English wherein rhyme normally comes from the stressed syllable.


The wild wind and rain suppress 
the dancing leaves in darkness.
—Judi Van Gorder

Artist Eyes by Stephen Arndt

Groups of stars—bare skeletons— 
We name as constellations 
And flesh them out to full shapes 
To fill our nightly skyscapes. 
Children watching clouds divine 
Animal shapes in outline; 
Hikers eye from heights they’ve won 
Forms in a rock formation; 
In leaf shadows we discern 
The makings of a pattern. 

The groups we perceive as things 
Depend upon the groupings. 
We try to connect each dot, 
Spot figures in an inkblot, 
And though we may not concur 
Or see things in like manner, 
Still, it seems that we are bent 
On finding form in content— 
From children to scientists 
We all have eyes of artists.

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

Note: Wrenched rhyme is rhyming a stressed syllable with an unstressed syllable.

My example

The Guitarist (Cywydd deuair hirion)

He could make his guitar sing
when time he was a-wasting.
His tunes were cheered on by men
and memorized by women.

© Lawrencealot – November 25, 2014

Visual template

Cywydd deuair hirion

Cywydd deuair fyrion

Cywydd deuair fyrion

Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement
Description: Four syllable lines in rhymed couplets. (Cow-idd dye-ire vuhr-yon or cuh’-with day’-air fruh’-yon) It can be true or half-rhyme.
Origin: Welsh
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 2

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

My example

Convenience Store Theft

Convenience Store Theft (Cywydd deuair frion)

Give them some slack
They’re young and black
It is their right
to steal tonight.
Forget the facts
blame the attacks
on white abuse,
a fine excuse;
they can’t appeal
so they must steal.

© Lawrencealot – November 25, 2014

Cyhydedd Naw Ban

Cyhydedd Naw Ban, cuh-hée-dedd naw ban, is the 17th codified ancient Welsh Meter, an Awdl merter. Poems using this meter often have lengthy sequences of couplets without change of rhyme. 

The Cyhydedd Naw Ban is:
• written in any number of rhymed couplets.
• made up of 9 syllable lines.
• rhymed, aa etc.
x x x x x x x x A
x x x x x x x x A
Wrthyt greawdyr byt bid vygobeith
Wrthyf byd drugar hywar hyweith
Yth arge neud gwae nyt gwael y gweith
Wrth dynyon gwylon y bo goleith
Wrht hynny Duw vry vrenhin pob ieith
yth archaf dagnef keinllef kanlleith.
Einion 15th century

News Images by Judi Van Gorder

They stand tall with bravado and yet,
covered faces deny who we’ve met.
Rockets, AKAs, swords, held in threat,
brow of hapless hostage exudes sweat.
No games played here, you will lose the bet,
mistakes of the past, lead to regret.

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

My example

Dainty Dolly and Her Sister Anne (Cyhydedd Naw Ban)

Dainty Dolly and her sister Anne
have both been romancing the same man.
The gutsy guy’s known as Dapper Dan,
who plays the ladies because he can.
But when they saw him flirt with Dianne
The sisters imposed a Dan man ban.

© Lawrencealot – November 25, 2014

Cyhydedd fer

Cyhydedd fer cuh-hée-dedd ver (short equivalence rhyme), the 14th codified ancient Welsh Meters is a stanzaic Awdl. It is simply couplets in rhymed 8 syllable lines. It is less commonly used by the Welsh who seem to prefer 7 syllable lines. In the ancient poems, these couplets were often multiplied into long stanzas all carrying the same rhyme or employed to present a riddle dyfalu.
The is:
• written in any number of rhymed couplets.
• made up of 8 syllable lines.
• rhymed aa bb cc dd etc.
x x x x x x x A 
x x x x x x x A
“in many old Welsh poems, a mood is established by a
description of the season of the year….”

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

My example

Decision Time in Ferguson (Cyhydedd fer)

Excuse me if I hesitate.
I’m white and this town’s filled with hate.
Gun shops this week made a killing.
selling guns to people willing
to be their own line of defense
or punish those who give offense.
Going downtown just for viewing
Seems a very stupid doing.
A mob’s a mob with little thought
of acting the way people ought.
I’ll get ready for Thanksgiving,
and remain among the living.

© Lawrencealot – November 24, 2014
Visual template
Cyhydedd fer

Cyrch a Chwta

Cyrch a Chwta
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
(kirch a choota) An octave of seven-syllable lines rhymed aaaaaaba with cross-rhyme of b in the third, fourth, or fifth syllable of line 8.
Rhyme: aaaaaaba
Meter: xxxxxxx
xxbxxxa or xxxbxxa or xxxxbxa
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his fine Poetrybase resource.
Example Poem
My Tree     (Cyrch a Chwta)
My dad went to war, but he
took time first to plant a tree
when I was a baby, wee.
Dad never came back to me,
he perished when I was three.
I learned of him at mom’s knee
That tree gave shade, let me swing.
That’s something dad knew would be.
© Lawrencealot – April 24, 2014


An awdl is a Welsh ode. Awdlau (that’s the plural) come in twelve different varieties, and it will take me a while to get through them all (if I ever do). All the poems on this page will be awdlau. 
There are 24 Welsh standard verse forms altogether. The other twelve are made up of eight kinds of englyn and four kinds of cywydd.
One important reservation: I believe all Welsh-language awdlau are required to exhibit some kind of cynghanedd in every line. In the descriptions below, this will not be mentioned (and in the examples, I will not attempt it). It is just too difficult and complicated for us non-Celts. If you really want to get to grips with this, I recommend the book Singing in Chains (see books page). 
As Confucius once remarked, the page of a dozen awdlau begins with a single form:
Hir a Thoddaid
According to Singing in Chains, the Hir a Thoddaid is the most common form of awdl nowadays. Here’s a silly example:
I take back what I said about your knees –
They hardly knock at all. Forgive me, please.
My meaning and my words are chalk and cheese.
I love to cuddle you. You’re not obese.
I have caught a rare disease of the heart
When I see you I start to want to sneeze.
I didn’t mean to speak ill of your chin.
In pointing out it emphasised how thin
Your body was, I thought I’d make you grin.
Is paying you such compliments a sin?
I see I’ll have to discipline my tongue –
The songs I would have sung must stay within.
I’m sure that I did not suggest your arms’
Uneven lengths failed to augment your charms.
Believe me, love, they caused me no alarms.
I’ve seen far worse on girls from local farms.
A little skewness often calms me down.
So please, my love, don’t send round the gendarmes.
I never did complain about your nose,
Although it’s quite surprising that you chose
That singular proboscis. I suppose
It makes you quite distinctive, like your clothes.
More easily described in prose than verse,
You’re better active, worse when in repose.
And darling, though it’s true I said you smelt,
I meant “of roses”, honestly! I’d spelt
It out clearly. I don’t know why you felt
That I’d been less than kind. You’re sweet, you’re svelte,
My poor heart raced when I knelt to request
Your hand. Your bum’s the best I’ve ever felt.
Each line has 10 syllables – in no particular metre, though I seem to have lapsed into iambic pentameter here. All lines of each stanza, except for the penultimate one, rhyme together in the conventional way. The penultimate line rhymes with them all in an unconventional way – its seventh, eighth or ninth syllable contains the rhyme. Furthermore, the word at the end of the penultimate line rhymes with a word somewhere in the middle of the last line. In the first stanza above, for example, there’s disease/sneeze and heart/start
The first 4 lines are the hir, and the last two are the toddaid (which mutates to thoddaid when you put the phrase together, due to the endearing pecularities of the Welsh language). The hir can have 2 lines or 6, rather than the 4 used here, but all its lines must always rhyme together. 
The books by Hopgood and Skelton agree about this form, and that’s good enough for me. Some sites on the web say the last line should have only 9 syllables, but I suspect they are wrong. 
And if you don’t believe CYNGHAHEDD makes this difficult poetry to write, with the expertise to determine is praiseworthy or even correct limited to a few Welsh and a very few other poets, take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about it

I have found little joy in reading such poems as they almost always appear stilted.


So I am (after viewing others) going with Bob Newman’s interpretation and recommendation – let those writing in English write enjoyable poetry.

Restated specification for Hir a Thoddaid:

A poem of either 6 or 8 lines.

Stanzaic:  Consisting of a hir (being either a mono-rhymed quatrain or sestet,

                   and a toddaid which is a couplet with interlaced rhyme.

Isosyllabic: 10 syllables

Rhymed: aaaa(ab)(ba)


Here is my example poem:

Crinoline Tease (Hir a Thoddaid)


You dressed in fancy silks and satin clothes 
and feather boas, hats, and nylon hose, 
and crinoline as well to augment those. 
and not in frequently you would expose 
a flash of flesh to decompose a guest. 
I liked that best, and therefore I proposed. 
Somehow you liked me wearing my plainclothes. 
You ate me up with eyes just like a doe’s. 
When we’re together we forget our woes 
I thrill to sit nearby when you repose 
and lean and touch you with my nose and lips 
and touch your breast and hips while still you pose. 
© Lawrencealot – December 26, 2013


Related Welsh Form are HERE.

Visual Template


This is a complex form for which I found disparate specifications on the internet.
What is certain is:
It is an old Welsh form
It is syllabic, usually 9/9/10/9
It is stanzaic, usually quatrains or sestets
It is rhyming, usually mono-rhyme of the 9 syllable lines
And with internal and/or interleaved rhyme for the long line.
Here are the better references I used:
The gwawdodyn is a Welsh poetic form with a couple variations. However, both versions are comprised of quatrains (4-line stanzas) that have a 9/9/10/9 syllable pattern and matching end rhymes on lines 1, 2, and 4. The variations are made in that third line:
  • One version has an internal rhyme within the third line. So there’s a rhyme somewhere within the third line with the end rhyme on the third line.
  • The other version has an internal rhyme within the third line that rhymes with an internal rhyme in the fourth line.
In both cases, the rhyme starts somewhere in the middle of the third line and it is a unique rhyme to the end rhyme in lines 1, 2, and 4.
Here’s a possible diagram for the first version (with the x’s symbolizing syllables):
Note: The “b” rhyme in the middle of line 3 could slide to the left or right as needed by the poet.
Here’s an example I wrote for the first version:
“Cheat,” by Robert Lee Brewer
The rumors you’ve heard are true: I run
to forget my past. What I have won,
I’ve lost in lasting memories, blasting
through my brain like bullets from a gun.
As you can see, “run,” “won,” and “gun” rhyme with each other, as do “lasting” and “blasting.”
Here’s a possible diagram for the second version:
Note: In this version, both “b” rhymes can slide around in their respective lines, which affords the poet a little extra freedom.
Here’s my example modified for the second version:
“Cheat,” by Robert Lee Brewer
The rumors you’ve heard are true: I run
to forget my past. What I have won,
I’ve lost in lonley moments, my sorrow
my only friend while others are stunned.
In this version, “run,” “won,” and “stunned” rhyme (okay, “stunned” is a slant rhyme), while “lonely” and “only” rhyme inside lines 3 and 4.
Please play around with the form this week, because it’ll be the focus of the next WD Poetic Form Challenge starting next week.
A big thanks to Robert Lee Brewer
Gwawdodyn, gwow-dód-in-heer (gwad = poem) is the 20th codified, Official Welsh Meter, an Awdl. It is a combination of a cyhydded naw ban couplet followed by either a toddaid or cyhydedd hir couplet.The Gwawdodyn is:
  • is stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains made up of a Cyhydedd Naw Ban couplet followed by either a Toddaid or Cyhydedd Hir.
  • syllabic, L1,L2,L4 are 9 syllable lines and L3 is a 10 syllable line.
  • when written with a cyhydedd hir couplet the stanza is
    • rhymed aaba, with L3 internal rhyme and L4 cross rhymed b.
  • when written with a Toddaid
    • mono-rhymed.
    • composed with gair cyrch following the main rhyme and caesura of L3. The gair cyrch end rhyme is echoed in the first half of L4 in secondary rhyme, assonance or consonance.
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x b x x x x b
x x x x b x x x a
x x x x x x x x c
x x x x x x x x c
x x x x d x x x x d
x x x x d x x x a
with Toddaid
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x b – x c
x x x x c x x x b
x x x x x x x x d
x x x x x x x x d
x x x x x x x e – x f
x x x x f x x x e
House of Stone Turns to Sand by Judi Van Gorder
Ballots stolen, voters turned away,
but dead men will vote twice on the day.
No new fields to plow, there is no work now,
no sweat on the brow, no one to care?
Mugabe builds his army of boys
they now shoulder guns instead of toys
He took back white-farms without care – the fields
without yields leave black cupboards bare.
Sick mother has no milk for baby,
a crocodile barks in the belly.
Mother is dying, baby is crying
no one defying, no one will dare.
(Zimbabwe is Shona for house of stone)This poem uses Cyhydedd Hir end couplets in stanza 1 & 3 and Toddaid end couplet in stanza 2. I couldn’t resist creating a main rhyme in stanza 2 that was also a linking rhyme between all stanzas.
A big thanks to Judi Van Gorder
Gwawdodyn Hir
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
(gwow DOD in heer) A syllabic form that can go in two ways. Either way it consists of a syllabic sestet where all lines except the fifth are nine syllables and monorhymed. The fifth line is ten syllables and has a separate rhyme that may be internal (fifth and tenth syllable) or cross-rhymed with the sixth line (seventh through the ninth syllable of fifth line cross-rhymes with third through the fifth in sixth line).
xxxxxxbxxx  (Syllable 7 to 9)
Rhythm/Stanza Length:
A Big thanks to Bob Newman
My Example
Uninvited      (Gwadodyn
My girl gone- my love unrequited
left me lonely and not delighted.
I gave girl next door transport from the store,
that and nothing more! How short-sighted.
You’d think perhaps I’d been benighted
I did not know what I’d ignited
That gal didn’t knock; my door wasn’t locked
from sleep I was shocked yet excited.
That she was nude was now high-lighted
by her chills that I soon had righted.
That she had applied could not be denied,
but midnight rides must be invited.
© Lawrencealot – December 25, 2013

Related Welch form at HERE.

Visual Templates

Rhupunt hir

A Rhupunt hir is merely a Rhupunt that is NOT broken into short stanzas.
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
(RHEE-pint) This is a syllabic line of three to five tetrasyllabic sections. It is sometimes presented as stanzas (tercets, quatrains, quintets) rather than one line. The main rhyme can change after two or more lines. The internal rhyme can be consonance instead of true rhyme.
xxxa xxxa xxxa xxxb
xxxc xxxc xxxc xxxb
xxxd xxxd xxxd xxxb, etc.
xxxa xxxa xxxa xxxa xxxb
xxxc xxxc xxxc xxxc xxxb
xxxd xxxd xxxd xxxd xxxb, etc.
xxxa xxxa xxxb
xxxc xxxc xxxb
xxxd xxxd xxxb, etc.
xxxb, etc.
Thanks to Charles L. Weatherford of PoetryBase

Related Welsh Form are HERE.

Visual template


Clogyrnach clog-ír-nach, the 16th codified Welsh meter, an Awdl, is associated with what I can only assume is the name of an ancient poet, Cynddelw and is framed with a cyhydedd fer couplet combined with a longer form. It is rarely used by today’s poets.
The defining features of the Clogymach are:
  • stanzaic, written in any number of quintets, combining a cyhydedd fer *(a rhymed couplet of 8 syllable lines) and a tercet of two 5 syllable lines followed by one 6 syllable line of 2 equal parts, 3 syllables each.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme AABBA. The 1st phrase of L5 rhymes with the previous line and the 2nd phrase rhymes with cyhydedd fer couplet.
  • flexible, L5 of the cinquain can be added to the end of L4 creating a quatrain or can be broken into 2 separate lines creating a sixain.Clog Ear Nach by DC MartinsonInside my head there is a fight
    That leaves me void of sleep at night:
    My ear infected,
    By cure neglected.
    Dejected – Till dawn’s light.
x x x x x x x A
x x x x x x x A
x x x x B
x x x x B
x x B x x A
x x x x x x x A
x x x x x x x A
x x x x B
x x x x B
x x B
x x A
x x x x x x x A
x x x x x x x A
x x x x B
x x x x B x x B x x A
Smooth lines with the color of peach,
time invites them to dream and reach.
Peer imitates,
lust lures, promise baits,
a world waits, ours to teach.
— Judi Van Gorder
Within the gemstone, facets glint
like sun on snow with winter’s tint,
sparkling colors fuse
in translucent hues
mark my muse with fired flint.
Judi Van Gorder
Many Thanks to PMO, a fine resource,  for  the above information.
*Technically the cyhydedd fir has internal and linked rhyme so I would simply omit that
designation, with the rhyme schemes shown.

Example Poem


Thanksgiving Pies     (Clogyrnach)

Wife’s made more pies than we’ll have guests

Her cooking ranks among the best.

I’m inept – thus banned

can’t cook things not canned,

Works great I must confess.


© Lawrencealot – November 27, 2013

Related Welch form at HERE.

Visual Template