Meet the Rannaigheact Mhor
The Rannaigheact is a type of Irish quatrain which has many variations. Like other Celtic forms, it is complex with several formal requirements, including alliteration, strict syllable count, and cross-rhymes. The Rannaigheact Mhor may have more formal requirements than any other form I’ve attempted so far. If you love rhyme and you’re up for a challenge, this form is for you!
Key Features of the Rannaigheact Mhor*
Form: Written in any number of quatrains
– Features an abab rhyme scheme, including consonant end sounds
– At least 2 cross-rhymes in each couplet of each quatrain
– Final word of line 3 rhymes with interior of line 4
Syllables: Seven-syllable lines (heptasyllabic)
Alliteration: At least two words alliterate in each line
– Final word of line 4 alliterates with preceding stressed word
– Final sound of poem echoes first sound of poem (common for Irish forms)
*Adapted from this Writer’s Digest post
Example Poem & Rhyme Guide
An Original Rannaigheact Mhor
Wear a Mask
Please preserve faith in science;
Compliance flattens the curve.
This deserves an alliance;
This defiance doesn’t serve.
Some won’t see the greater good,
But agree we should be free.
I’d quickly flee If I could,
But that would serve only me.
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