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Tinker

Rannaighheacht and Its Variations .

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Ancient Irish Verse Form

Rannaighheacht and its variations: rann is the Celtic word for 4 line stanza. All of the following Irish "versification" variations are written with the defining features of most ancient Irish verse forms, cywddydd (harmony of sound) and dunadh (beginning and ending the poem with the same word, phrase or line.

In addition:

  • Rannaighheacht (versificatation) is bruilingeacht, a kind of junior dán díreach, its elements are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains, each line has 7 syllables.
    2. alliterated, 2 word alliteration in each line.
    3. rhymed aAbA cCdC etc 
    4. end words of L1, L2 and L4 consonate, (The same last consonant at the end of the line.) , L2 & L4 are true rhyme.
    5. the end word of L3 should be 2 syllables and is aicil rhyme, rhyming internally somewhere in the first half of L4.
      x x x x x x a
      x x x x x x A
      x x x x x (x b)
      x x b x x x A
       
  • Rannaigheacht bheag (ron ayah voig)(little verse), the elements are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains.
    2. syllabic 8-6-8-6.
    3. alliterated, 2 word alliteration in each line.
    4. end words are all 2 syllable words and should consonate (same last consonant at end of the line, which is pretty impossible in English).
    5. composed with 2 words that must alliterate in each line.
    6. written with the end word of L4 alliterates with the previous stressed word.
    7. written with internal rhyme and aicill rhyme The internal rhyme of the 1st couplet can consonate rather than rhyme, but the aicill rhyme of the 2nd couplet must be true rhyme.
      D x x x b x (x a)
      x x a (x B)
      x b x x x x (x a)
      x a x x (x B)

      x x x x d x (x c)
      x x c (x d)
      x d x x x x (x c)
      x c x x (x D)

      Improvising by Barbara Hartman

      Cooking by the book seems safer,
      but look, let's try something
      different. Dice up lean sausage,
      throw in sliced green scallions,

      sage, cilantro, chiles, chicken
      broth, bay, dill, canned chick-peas,
      swiss chard, celery, salt, charqui.
      Christen with chilled Chablis.

      It's like writing rhyming couplets,
      coupling sounds with content;
      stir, simmer, baste, add more commas,
      taste my Cajun cooking.
       
  • Rannaicheacht Ghairid (ron-a'yach cha'r-rid) (versification with "clipped" or shortened line) is a little simpler than above, the elements are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains with uneven lines.
    2. syllabic 3-7-7-7.
    3. alliterated, 2 word alliteration in each line.
    4. rhymed a a b a, with the end word of L3 internally rhymed in the first half or L4.
      x x a
      x x x x x x a
      x x x x x x b
      x x b x x x a. (internal rhyme may be in any position within the line)

      Ring of Love by Barbara Hartman & Judi Van Gorder

      Sparrows swing
      on sunflower stems to wring
      last seeds that cling to dead heads.
      Summer sheds while sparrows sing.

      Maiden weds,
      that night the young groom beds
      his love with tender touch. Glows,
      pleased he sews blood upon threads.

      True love grows,
      this fair knight and maid's life shows
      summer love can thrive in spring
      blessed by a ring of sparrows.
       
  • Rannaicheacht Mhor (ron-a'yach voor) (the great versification), its elements are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains, each line has 7 syllables.
    2. alliterated, 2 word alliteration in each line.
    3. consonating rhyme abab.
    4. the end words rhymed internally in opposite lines of each couplet.
    5. final word of L3 rhymes with a word in the middle of L4.
    6. written with the end word of L4 alliterating with the preceding word.
      x x x x b x a
      x x x a x x b
      x b x x x x a
      x x a x x x b

      Happy Hour by Barbara Hartman

      April evenings lure hungry
      epicures to favorite
      tables where couples hunker,
      getting drunk on strong spirits.

      Small family groups inspect
      sweet soups of alfalfa sprouts,
      nibble leafy greens, all decked
      out in jeans for walkabouts.

      They hop from one salad bar
      to another, stop to kiss,
      play tag until sharp barks mar
      larks of bacchanalian bliss.

      Banquet tables overturn,
      tipplers run away downhill,
      discerning diners adjourn.
      Rabbits yearn, applaud April.
       
  • Rannaicheacht Mhor Gairit (great versification with "clipped" or shortened line), the elements are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains.
    2. syllabic 3-7-7-7.
    3. alliterated, 2 word alliteration in each line.
    4. rhymed, rhyme scheme aaba ccdc etc.
    5. if L3 ends in a 2 syllable word, aicill rhyme is employed and the end word of L3 rhymes internally in L4.
      x x a
      x x x x x x a
      x x x x x (x b)
      x x b x x x a

      x x c
      x x x x x x c
      x x x x x (x d)
      x x d x x x c
      Squatters by Barbara Hartman

      Prairie dogs
      carry on shrill dialogues
      outside apartment housing
      grumpy, grousing demagogues.

      They moved in
      last summer with all their kin,
      dug tunnels in our pasture
      cool, cocksure, they always win.

      All agog,
      hungry rodents eat like hogs,
      while poor farmers rue the day
      God created prairie dogs.
       
  • Rannaicheacht, randaigecht chethar-chubaid garit rocamarcach,the elements are:
    1. a Rannaicheacht (versification) gharid (clipped) with two-syllable end words. (chethar-chubaid)
    2. written in any number of quatrains.
    3. syllabic 3-7-7-7..
    4. alliterated, 2 word alliteration in each line.
    5. written with aicill rhyme, the end word of L3 internally rhymes with L4.
    6. written with the defining features of all ancient Celtic forms, cywdydd and dunadh.
      x (x a)
      x x x x x (x a)
      x x x x x (x B)
      x x bx x (x a)
      RANNAICHEACHT, et al by Mike Montreuil

      Full, maybe
      of life and love for thee
      but, unaware of deceit
      that will eat all you foresee.

      Us, alone.
      Impossible to atone
      mistakes made at a gallop
      that have dropped into brimstone.

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