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Lai: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write a lai, a French poetic form comprised of nine lines with "a" and "b" end rhymes and a syllable count for each line. Sound complicated? Fun? It is!

The lai is another French form. It's a nine-line poem or stanza that uses an "a" and "b" rhyme following this pattern: aabaabaab. The lines with an "a" rhyme use 5 syllables; the "b" rhyme lines have 2 syllables. It feels kind of like organized skeltonic verse.

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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 an example lai I wrote:

"16," by Robert Lee Brewer

been 'round here before
I know what's in store
this way
middle of my four
miles and I'm bored
that way
each mile is four
laps and I get bored
one way

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In my version, I used a slant rhyme with "bored."

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