Clogyrnach: Poetic Form

With the November PAD Chapbook Challenge just around the corner, I’m trying to cover a few more poetic forms than usual, including today’s offering: Clogyrnach!

Clogyrnach Poems

Besides being another fun form to say (like rimas dissolutas), clogyrnach is also a fun poem to write. This Welsh poetic form is typically a six-line syllabic stanza with an ab rhyme scheme:

Line 1: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 2: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 3: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 4: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 5: 3 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 6: 3 syllables with an a rhyme

Note: There’s also a variant that combines lines 5 and 6 into one line–making a 5-line stanza (see my example below).

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Here’s my attempt at Clogyrnach:

Leading a Horse to Water, by Robert Lee Brewer

When I was a horse, I saw light
reflect off the water at night–
the moon a bright rock
measured as a mock
up of clocks counting sights

I hoped that someday I would see,
though adventure eluded me
in my prison cell
echoing my yell
as I fell heavenly

into dark and dreamy attics
filled with jockeys in their spandex
and little black whips
with feverish grips
that will quip ecstatic!

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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17 thoughts on “Clogyrnach: Poetic Form

  1. Tracy Davidson

    The Husband

    Have pity on my weary bones,
    each movement brings more creaks and groans.
    And why my back plays
    up, neurons ablaze?
    My wife weighs
    twenty stones!

  2. seingraham

    LAMENT FOR MOTHER
    AND CHILD

    A child is weeping in the dark
    His mother’s left him in the park
    What was she thinking?
    Had she been drinking?
    Her wee king
    Her stretch mark

    THE BIG QUESTION

    Night blankets every bit of land
    muffles sounds, leaves all life unmanned
    Is that what we fear?
    Are we alone here?
    Spin on sphere
    Play your hand

  3. Walter J Wojtanik

    TURN BACK THE CLOCK?

    Against our will, time is fleeting.
    Seconds tick as if beating
    themselves to an end.
    We cannot pretend,
    or defend our cheating.

    Time and tide do not wait for man,
    and we might think we have a plan.
    Time does not turn back
    and that is a fact
    that impacts our lifespan.

    So, in a forward march, we go.
    And as we near our ends, we’ll know,
    if we gave life worth
    while we’re here on earth.
    From our birth, it will show.

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  4. taylor graham

    LEAVING NO TRACE

    The trees keep secrets to themselves
    of ferns and fairies, maybe elves,
    of twig and leaf-fall,
    and the thrush’s call
    kept safe all on mossed shelves –

    while sleek as moonbeams or a doe’s
    elusive print through shadowed rows,
    a silver car –
    some wayward star
    from a-far – silent goes.

  5. Walter J Wojtanik

    DRESSED TO THRILL

    Halloween’s right around the bend,
    so get your costume ready, friend!
    You can be a fool,
    You can be a ghoul.
    They’re both cool,
    They’re the trend.

    I like to alter my disguise
    When hanging out with ghostly guys.
    Authentic? Better,
    the real trend setter
    Go getter,
    and so wise!

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