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Cywydd Llosgyrnog: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write the cywydd llosgyrnog, a Welsh six-liner, including guidelines for the poetic form and an example poem.

Just when you think we've uncovered every poetic form under the sun, we unearth another Welsh form--this time, cywydd llosgyrnog.

Cywydd Llosgyrnog Poems

Besides the spelling of the name, a poet can figure out this is a Welsh form pretty quick because it's a syllabic-based form with internal rhymes. Here’s the structure of this six-line form (with the letters acting as syllables and the a’s, b’s, and c's signifying rhymes:

1-xxxxxxxa
2-xxxxxxxa
3-xxxaxxb
4-xxxxxxxc
5-xxxxxxxc
6-xxxcxxb

So lines 1, 2, 4, and 5 are 8 syllables in length with lines 1 and 2 rhyming as well as lines 4 and 5. Lines 3 and 6 have 7 syllables and rhyme with each other; plus, line 3 has an internal rhyme with lines 1 and 2 while line 6 has an internal rhyme with lines 4 and 5. No other rules as far as subject matter or meter.

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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 a Cywydd Llosgyrnog:

Daffodils, by Robert Lee Brewer

Daffodils don't sway in the breeze
every time you hear old men sneeze;
instead, they tease spring awake
with their precocious happiness
in maintained beds and wilderness--
a simple dress for love's sake.

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