Hir a Thoddaid: Poetic Form

Last week, we looked at ottava rima. This week, let’s tackle hir a thoddaid.

Hir a Thoddaid Poems

Some of you may have already guessed, but the hir a thoddaid is a Welsh form. They’ve got the coolest names, right?

And this form is like other Welsh forms in regards to a slight variation in line length and some complexity in the rhyme scheme. Here’s the structure of this six-line form (with the letters acting as syllables and the a’s and b’s signifying rhymes:

1-xxxxxxxxa
2-xxxxxxxxa
3-xxxxxxxxa
4-xxxxxxxxa
5-xxxxxxxbxx
6-xxbxxxxxa

So line 5 is 10 syllables in length; the other 5 lines are 9 syllables. Also, the “b” rhyme is somewhere near the end of line 5 and somewhere in the first half of line 6–so those rhymes could move back and forth to suit your needs.

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Here’s my attempt at a Hir a Thoddaid:

Ace, by Robert Lee Brewer

This is the year I really need space
to figure myself out and save face
from those who are always on my case
about how I don’t know how to grace
a room without dominating the scene
while demonstrating my sense of place.

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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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4 thoughts on “Hir a Thoddaid: Poetic Form

  1. taylor graham

    DARK GUEST

    Through the schoolyard walked a big black bear.
    Children gawked through classroom windows – rare
    and wondrous vision. What child would dare
    meet the mythic creature open-air?
    But young imaginings shall fill the gaps
    and live still in hearts that witnessed there.

  2. Tracy Davidson

    Midnight

    Silence shattered by a single scream,
    but am I awake or in a dream?
    These strange surroundings, not what they seem,
    my poor chest compressed by smog and steam.
    My mind is confuddled by tricks and traps,
    eyes fix on me with a devil’s gleam.

    1. PressOn

      Apologies to the Welsh….

      Once a poet wrote a poem
      and he loved it so;
      he loved it so he couldn’t stop
      making his pen flow.
      With a thoddaid here and a thoddaid there,
      hir a thoddaid,
      byr a thoddaid,
      everywhere another thoddaid
      kept the poet on his toes.
      Ee-eye-ee-eye-oh.

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