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The Ochtfochlach

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Irish Poetry

  • The Ochtfochlach is a Celtic form from the 13th century. Unlike many of the more complicated dán díreach or strict Irish forms the Ochtfochlach uses simpler rhymes and less formal in structure. Considered óglachas or "apprentice work", often used by amateurs.


    The Ochtfochlach is:

    • an octastich, a poem in 8 lines.
    • syllabic, at the discretion of the poet as long as the lines are uniform length.
    • rhymed, aaabcccb.


      Ostrich Races by Judi Van Gorder 05may30-ostrch-racing.jpg


      With feathery top-not

      and bug eyed bloodshot

      orbs his long teapot

      neck swags and ever is heard

      his squawks and snorts

      while on his back he sports

      a small saddle of sorts

      for racing this awkward bird.


      The International Camel and Ostrich Races are held every year in September, Virginia City, Nevada. A fun event with authentic old west atmosphere.



Celtic Elements of Writing

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