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Cyhydedd Naw Ban: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the cyhydedd naw ban, a Welsh couplet (or 2-line) form.

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the cyhydedd naw ban, a Welsh couplet (or 2-line) form.

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Cyhydedd Naw Ban Poems

The cyhydedd naw ban is a simple Welsh poetic form that uses couplets to keep things even within each poem. In its most simplistic form, a cyhydedd naw ban is a poem comprised of 9-line couplets that rhyme with each other. Simple, right?

But you know, poets like to complicate things from time to time. So a cyhydedd naw ban can also consist of longer stanzas as long as the following requirements are met:

  • Each line in the stanza is nine syllables long.
  • The stanza has an even number of lines.
  • Each line in the stanza end rhymes with another line (any line) in the stanza.

The stanza lengths in a cyhydedd naw ban can actually vary within each poem--just as long as the above requirements are met within each stanza.

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Here’s my attempt at a cyhydedd naw ban:

owls & bats, by Robert Lee Brewer

owls and bats prepare to stalk through the night
hungry for their chance to hunt for prey
hidden in the dark and far from light
that reveals quiet pleasures of day
as if all creatures have a deep need
to fly only when it's time to feed

And here's an alternate "couplet" version:

owls & bats, by Robert Lee Brewer

owls and bats prepare to stalk through the night
hidden in the dark and far from light

that reveals quiet pleasures of day
hungry for their chance to hunt for prey

as if all creatures have a deep need
to fly only when it's time to feed

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