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Hir a Thoddaid: Poetic Forms

Learn the rules of writing hir a thoddaid, a Welsh poetic form that runs 6 lines and incorporates rhymes.

Last week, we looked at ottava rima. This week, let's tackle hir a thoddaid.

Hir a Thoddaid Poems

Some of you may have already guessed, but the hir a thoddaid is a Welsh form. They've got the coolest names, right?

And this form is like other Welsh forms in regards to a slight variation in line length and some complexity in the rhyme scheme. Here's the structure of this six-line form (with the letters acting as syllables and the a's and b's signifying rhymes:

1-xxxxxxxxa
2-xxxxxxxxa
3-xxxxxxxxa
4-xxxxxxxxa
5-xxxxxxxbxx
6-xxbxxxxxa

So line 5 is 10 syllables in length; the other 5 lines are 9 syllables. Also, the "b" rhyme is somewhere near the end of line 5 and somewhere in the first half of line 6--so those rhymes could move back and forth to suit your needs.

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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 Hir a Thoddaid:

Ace, by Robert Lee Brewer

This is the year I really need space
to figure myself out and save face
from those who are always on my case
about how I don't know how to grace
a room without dominating the scene
while demonstrating my sense of place.

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