Breccbairdne: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the breccbairdne, an Irish poetic form.


Breccbairdne Poems

The breccbairdne is an Irish quatrain form. Here are the basic guidelines:

  • Quatrain (or four-line stanza) form
  • Five syllables in the first line; six syllables in the other three lines
  • Each line ends with a two-syllable word
  • Lines two and four rhyme
  • All end words consonate

Quick note: Consonance is the act of repeating consonant sounds; my example below consonates middle and end sounds, but consonance could also focus on the opening consonant sounds.

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Here’s my attempt at a breccbairdne:

tattle, by Robert Lee Brewer

Go, tell your father
that you saw your mother
being quite a bother
to your older brother

down by the river
where there is a sliver
of an uncooked liver
that prompted a shiver

before some shaking
without any faking
of news you were breaking
about their scene making.

(Note on my example: I rhymed a lot more frequently than is required by this form. Remember that you only “need” to rhyme the second and fourth line of each stanza.)

6 thoughts on “Breccbairdne: Poetic Forms

  1. AvatarPressOn

    THE DENIZEN OF THE PUBLIC HOUSE

    Eamonn O’Connell
    was a man who’d rather
    spout forth a great lather
    of meaningless blather

    about wee people
    who, light as a feather,
    would dance in the nether
    regions of the heather,

    and, in his telling,
    he’d embellish stories
    with tales of the glories
    of fighting with Tories.

    We heard this nightly
    while he nursed his whiskey,
    but when he turned frisky,
    getting close got risky.

    Of course, his drinking
    disrupted his thinking,
    but still, he’d be winking
    when he caught us blinking.

  2. AvatarSara McNulty

    Sweet and Salty

    I will have chocolate
    ice cream in my malted
    with spoon should it thicken,
    and pretzel well salted.

    I like that union,
    it tickles my tastebuds.
    Fills me up ’til dinner
    Might have to skip donuts.

  3. Avatarkhoward

    New moon dark knight

    New moon no lighting
    Shadows of night, growing
    Stars are bright for sighting
    Claws & paws on backdoors

    Screams in dark silence
    Moving around, pounding
    Dark souls find their sentence
    New moon for dark knighting

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