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Wednesday, December 25, 2013


This is a complex form for which I found disparate specifications on the internet.
What is certain is
It is an old Welsh form
It is syllabic, usually 9/9/10/9
It is stanzaic, usually quatrains or sestets
It is rhyming, usually mono-rhyme of the 9 syllable lines
And with internal and/or interleaved rhyme for the long line.

Here are the better references I used:

The gwawdodyn is a Welsh poetic form with a couple variations. However, both versions are comprised of quatrains (4-line stanzas) that have a 9/9/10/9 syllable pattern and matching end rhymes on lines 1, 2, and 4. The variations are made in that third line:
  • One version has an internal rhyme within the third line. So there’s a rhyme somewhere within the third line with the end rhyme on the third line.
  • The other version has an internal rhyme within the third line that rhymes with an internal rhyme in the fourth line.
In both cases, the rhyme starts somewhere in the middle of the third line and it is a unique rhyme to the end rhyme in lines 1, 2, and 4.
Here’s a possible diagram for the first version (with the x’s symbolizing syllables):
Note: The “b” rhyme in the middle of line 3 could slide to the left or right as needed by the poet.
Here’s an example I wrote for the first version:
“Cheat,” by Robert Lee Brewer
The rumors you’ve heard are true: I run
to forget my past. What I have won,
I’ve lost in lasting memories, blasting
through my brain like bullets from a gun.

As you can see, “run,” “won,” and “gun” rhyme with each other, as do “lasting” and “blasting.”

Here’s a possible diagram for the second version:
Note: In this version, both “b” rhymes can slide around in their respective lines, which affords the poet a little extra freedom.
Here’s my example modified for the second version:
“Cheat,” by Robert Lee Brewer

The rumors you’ve heard are true: I run
to forget my past. What I have won,
I’ve lost in lonley moments, my sorrow
my only friend while others are stunned.

In this version, “run,” “won,” and “stunned” rhyme (okay, “stunned” is a slant rhyme), while “lonely” and “only” rhyme inside lines 3 and 4.
Please play around with the form this week, because it’ll be the focus of the next WD Poetic Form Challenge starting next week.

A big thanks to Robert Lee Brewer

Gwawdodyn, gwow-dód-in-heer (gwad = poem) is the 20th codified, Official Welsh Meter, an Awdl. It is a combination of a cyhydded naw ban couplet followed by either a toddaid or cyhydedd hir couplet.The Gwawdodyn is:
  • is stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains made up of a Cyhydedd Naw Ban couplet followed by either a Toddaid or Cyhydedd Hir.
  • syllabic, L1,L2,L4 are 9 syllable lines and L3 is a 10 syllable line.
  • when written with a cyhydedd hir couplet the stanza is
    • rhymed aaba, with L3 internal rhyme and L4 cross rhymed b.
  • when written with a Toddaid
    • mono-rhymed.
    • composed with gair cyrch following the main rhyme and caesura of L3. The gair cyrch end rhyme is echoed in the first half of L4 in secondary rhyme, assonance or consonance.
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x b x x x x b
x x x x b x x x a

x x x x x x x x c
x x x x x x x x c
x x x x d x x x x d
x x x x d x x x a

with Toddaid
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x b - x c
x x x x c x x x b

x x x x x x x x d
x x x x x x x x d
x x x x x x x e - x f
x x x x f x x x e
House of Stone Turns to Sand by Judi Van Gorder

Ballots stolen, voters turned away,
but dead men will vote twice on the day.
No new fields to plow, there is no work now, 
no sweat on the brow, no one to care?

Mugabe builds his army of boys
they now shoulder guns instead of toys
He took back white-farms without care - the fields
without yields leave black cupboards bare.

Sick mother has no milk for baby,
a crocodile barks in the belly.
Mother is dying, baby is crying
no one defying, no one will dare.
(Zimbabwe is Shona for house of stone)This poem uses Cyhydedd Hir end couplets in stanza 1 & 3 and Toddaid end couplet in stanza 2. I couldn't resist creating a main rhyme in stanza 2 that was also a linking rhyme between all stanzas.

A big thanks to Judi Van Gorder

Gwawdodyn Hir
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
(gwow DOD in heer) A syllabic form that can go in two ways. Either way it consists of a syllabic sestet where all lines except the fifth are nine syllables and monorhymed. The fifth line is ten syllables and has a separate rhyme that may be internal (fifth and tenth syllable) or cross-rhymed with the sixth line (seventh through the ninth syllable of fifth line cross-rhymes with third through the fifth in sixth line).
xxxxxxbxxx  (Syllable 7 to 9)
Rhythm/Stanza Length:

A Big thanks to Bob Newman

My Example

Uninvited      (Gwadodyn)

My girl gone- my love unrequited
left me lonely and not delighted.
I gave girl next door transport from the store,
that and nothing more! How short-sighted.

You'd think perhaps I'd been benighted
I did not know what I'd ignited
That gal didn't knock; my door wasn't locked
from sleep I was shocked yet excited.

That she was nude was now high-lighted
by her chills that I soon had righted.
That she had applied could not be denied,
but midnight rides must be invited.

© Lawrencealot - December 25, 2013

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