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Awdl Gywydd: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write the awdl gywydd, a Welsh four-liner, including guidelines for writing the poetic form and an example poem.

You know what time it is? It's Poetic Form Friday time! So let’s examine a new (to me) form with the awdl gywydd.

Awdl Gywydd Poems

I love Welsh forms, because they tend to rhyme...and folks tend to ask me how to pronounce them. In this case, awdl gywydd is pronounced "ow-dull gee-youth." Now, let's look at the rules:

  • Four lines
  • Seven syllables per line
  • The final syllable of the first and third lines rhyme with the 3rd-5th syllable of the following lines
  • The second and fourth lines rhyme.

Here’s a possible version (the a and c rhymes can slide a little):

xxxxxxa
xxaxxxb
xxxxxxc
xxxxcxb

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The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at an Awdl Gywydd:

Nature, by Robert Lee Brewer

When we visit kangaroos,
we go to the zoo and find
every animal we can
from toucans to colorblind

elephants and hyenas...
Arenas filled with lions
aren't as fun as some may guess.
I confess: We were lying,

but that's only nature's way
of trying to say unsaid
things after the moment's passed.
Alas, we live 'til we're dead.

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