Wednesday, April 18, 2018


There’s nothing worse than staying up late to schedule a poetry post and then have it somehow disappear. I don’t know what happened – I checked the preview before scheduling last night and it looked fine but this morning when I looked all I had was a title. I'm glad I checked!

I had really hoped to present a new (to me) form each Wednesday through the month of April, it being National Poetry Month and all, but poetry can be time consuming to write at the best of times and some forms even more so. That pesky thing called life got a little busy last week and I just didn't have the time for a new form so I had to settle for one I've already given a try.

You may recall me mentioning the codified Welsh meters in last week’s post, so I figured this week I’d share one of the few I’ve tried. There are 24 codified meters in Welsh poetry, divided into three categories: the Englynion, the Cywydd, and the Awdl. Today’s form is the 16th, an Awdl, called the Clogyrnach (clog-ír-nach). Despite it being one of the easiest ones you don’t see it used much these days, but in ancient times the Awdls were the territory of the chief or master bard.

The Clogyrnach contains thirty-two syllables in a six-line stanza. The first two lines have eight syllables each; the second two, five; the third two, three. The last two lines may be written as a single, six-syllable line. There are only two rhymes per stanza, and there can be any number of stanzas.

Technically, it looks like this:

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

If you join the last two lines together to make one six-syllable line, it's important to keep the rhymes in the same place, so if you do that your last line will have the b rhyme in the middle:

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

Of course I used the traditional format for my example. I found the five syllable lines to be the most difficult, especially following the eight syllable lines – I kept wanting to write four syllables or six syllables instead.


An earthen sky of amber hue
A canvas on which dreams may brew
A zephyr blowing
Past rivers flowing
You pass through.

A stormy sea of hopes and dreams
Where nothing is quite like it seems
Reality skewed
Sanity unglued
Changing mood
Endless themes.

No order to the chaos here
Where wisdom’s just a thin veneer
Passions are higher
Truth is a liar
Wake from here.

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