Breccbairdne: Poetic Forms

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

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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.)


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