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#12. Cywydd llosgyrnog

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Welsh Verse
Features of the Welsh Meters
Welsh Codified Divisions

Cywydd llosgyrnog, ców-idd llos-gr-notheg, 12th codified ancient Welsh Meter, a Cywydd, is composed in sixains. It is speculated that the Welsh poets learned this meter from a common medieval Latin hymn form.

The elements of the Cywydd llosgyrnog are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
  2. syllabic, the sixain is made up of 8-8-7-8-8-7 syllable lines.
  3. rhymed, L1 and L2 end-rhyme is echoed somewhere in the middle of L3 (3rd, 4th, or 5th syllables). L4 and L5 end-rhyme is echoed somewhere in the middle of L6. L3 and L6 end rhyme.

    x x x x x x x A
    x x x x x x x A
    x x A x x x B (A could shift position slightly)                                  
    x x x x x x x C
    x x x x x x x C
    x x C x x x B (C could shift position slightly)


    Y mae goroff a garaf
    O gof aelaw aga a folaf
    O choeliaf gael i chalon'
    Am na welais i myn Elien
    O Lanurful ilyn Aerfen
    wawr mor wen o'r morynion
                    -- Dafydd ap Demwnd[/i]


    Friend or Foe by Judi Van Gorder

    Knight of the Round Table, King' s friend,
    the fabled handsome one, men commend,
    lived to defend, valor seen,
    Sir Lancelot earned his reward.
    Though prowess unmatched with the sword,                                      
    betrayed his Lord, loved his queen.















    Butterfly by Stephen Arndt

    Your change of form through chance or fate,
    That freeing step to final state,
    Which comes so late, came at last!
    From chrysalis (cocoon and lair)
    To butterfly with bright wing flare,
    Each one a pair, unsurpassed.

    Rice-paper thin, resplendent things,
    What artful wonders are your wings;
    With hues like spring's, how they spread!
    Let Chinese lanterns charm with light,
    You stud the noon as stars the night,
    Then take quick flight till you've fled.

    Mosaic tiles have mottled tints,
    And yet, compared with your close prints
    And dazzling glints, dull their glaze.
    The sun must rise to start its race
    Through skies it paints then sink apace
    (Unlike your grace), lost in grays.

    'm not so youthful now as you,
    Nor am I fair as are you few,
    For once you flew, none dared fly.
    Such flight is why I feel this way
    I've been most sad: in but (they say)
    A year, or day, you will die.


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