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Tinker

Deibhidhe and its Variations

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Deibhidhe (jay-vée) and its variations are dán direach. These ancient Irish Verse Forms carry a deibhidhe or light rhyme. Meaning that each rhymed couplet rhymes a stressed end syllable with an unstressed end syllable. In English rhyme is usually between 2 stressed syllables (yellow/ mellow, time/ rhyme ) but Celtic verse often deliberately rhymes a stressed and unstressed syllable (distress / angriness, west / conquest), easier said than done. As with most ancient Irish forms the Deibhidhes are written with cywddydd (harmony of sound) and dunadh (ending the poem with the same word, phrase or line with which the poem began)   Note: When writing in English it is sometimes very difficult to meet the stringent requirements of dan direach, so example poems are included that may not always demonstrate all of the features described.

  • The defining features of the Deibhidhe are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains, each line has 7 syllables.
    2. composed with light rhyming in couplets, rhyming a stressed end syllable with an unstressed end syllable.
    3. alliterated, alliteration between two words in each line,
    4. written with the final word of L4 alliterating with the preceding stressed word.
    5. composed to include at least two cross-rhymes between L3 and L4. Rhyme scheme aabb ccdd etc.
      x x x x x x a
      x x x x x x a
      x b x x x x b
      x x x b x b b
      Ahalanui Beach Park by Barbara Hartman

      Swim, soak, here in Pele's pool
      where thermal springs caress cool
      currents streaming from the sea
      float beneath the hala tree.

      Coconut palms shade the park,
      Kilauea made her mark.
      Surf limns lava seawall rim,
      small black crabs and turtles swim.
       
  • The defining features of the Deibhidhe Baise Fri Toin are:         
    1. written in any number of quatrains.
    2. written with uneven lines:
    3. syllabic 3-7-7-1.
    4. alliterated, alliteration between two words in each line,
    5. light rhymed, aa bb.
    6. terminated, written with two-syllable end words in L1 and L2.
      x (x a)
      x x x x x (x a)
      x x x x x x b
      b
      Easter Goodies by judi Van Gorder

      Marshmallow
      Peeps in white, pink or yellow
      jelly beans in time tested
      red.

      Fancy free,
      too much fun, always yummy,
      chocolate eggs, creamiest
      best.
       
  • The defining features of the Deibhidhe Guilbnech are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains, each line has 7 syllables.
    2. alliterated, alliteration between two words in each line,
    3. rhymed, aabb.
    4. written with all end rhyme stressed even though the name suggests otherwise.
      At Wal-Mart by Barbara Hartman

      Workers wear blue vests and smiles,
      customers crowd busy aisles,
      a gargoyle guards Fitting Room,
      Methuselah pushes broom.

      Too many different brands
      skirts and shirts from foreign lands.
      Magazines lure teen lurkers,
      mandarins eye-ball workers.
       
  • The defining features of the Deibhidhe Guilbnech Dialtach are:
    1. written in any number of quatrains,
    2. each line has 7 syllables.
    3. rhymed, aabb.
    4. alliterated, alliteration between two words in each line,
    5. all end-words should consonate.
      The Dolores River by Barbara Hartman

      River, who gave you your name?
      Did Escalanté exclaim,
      "Rio de dolores serás!"
      -River of Sorrows, alas!

      Perhaps it was Dominguez,
      stooped with sickness and distress,
      tired from the long journey west,
      the search for gold and conquest.

      Now the river fills a lake
      behind a dam built to break
      its reckless racing quiver,
      now sorrow slows my river.

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