Trian Rannaigechta Moire

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

Trian Rannaigechta Moire is a dan direach meter of ancient Celtic or Irish Verse Forms written in short lines with consonant rhyme, cywddydd (harmony of sound) and dunadh (beginning and ending the poem with the same word, syllable or phrase.

The elements of the Trian Rannaigechta Moire are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains,
  2. each line has 4 syllables.
  3. rhymed xaba xcdc etc. The end words of all lines consonate.
  4. written with aicill rhyme when the end word of L3 is a 2 syllable word. The 2 syllable end word of L3 is only a trigger for the aicill rhyme. It is not mandatory that any line end with a 2 syllable word.
    x x x x
    x x x a
    x x (x b) (when end word is 2 syllables, the b rhyme is repeated internally in L4)
    x b x a

    x x x x
    x x x c
    x x x d (note: single syllable end word, d rhyme is not repeated internally in L4)
    x x x c

    In the following poem all of the criteria is met except to consonate all of the end words of each quatrain. We have to remember the poem always comes first before the traditional form criteria and it probably would have been easier to consonate the end words if written in the original Gaelic. Something we often forget about emulating verse forms from different cultures and languages, the criteria doesn’t always easily translate into English.

    Trickster Time by Barbara Hartman

    Spring storm dumps snow,
    glazes green clumps,
    bends bows low
    to grow huge humps.

    March makes mischief:
    tricksters take wing
    practicing pranks
    on silly Spring.

My Example

Form: Trian Rannaigechta Moire

Only Gold

Vain little ride
on mountain road
could not get rid
of fears that rode.

We paid our dues-
those cold harsh days
passed bucks and does;
searched in a daze.

We stopped the van,
found a gold vein,
but lost my dog;
we’d searched in vain.

© Lawrencealot – February 4, 2015

This poet abandoned consonance in the penultimate line for sake of a powerful closing couplet, and an unspoken tribute to the difficulties handled by the ancient Celtics.

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