Week Fifty-Two: Cyrch a Chwta

~We’ve reached the final week~
~of the 52-Form Challenge!~

Thanks to all who have read, liked, commented, and followed this blog since its inception over a year ago.

Meet the Cyrch a Chwta

It’s poetic in a way that the final form of this challenge would be a Welsh one. Way back in June of 2019 (what seems like a lifetime ago. Thanks, COVID!) I featured the Gwawdodyn in my very first post. I’m never one to be shy about picking favorites, and I find the poetic forms from Wales and Ireland a true delight to the ear and the soul. There are many similarities between the forms of these Celtic nations (alliteration, intricate rhyme schemes, near impossible-to-pronounce names) and these forms, with their lively musicality, have been been a joy to work with. Other Welsh forms included in this challenge were: the Cywydd llosgyrnog (Week 8), and the Clogynarch (Week 21).

Key Features of the Cyrch a Chwta

Form: Features any number of eight-line syllables (octets)

– Lines 1 through 6 and 8 share an end rhyme
– Line 8 features an internal cross-rhyme with line 7 at syllable 3, 4, or 5

Syllables: Seven syllables per line


Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) on Jul 14 2020 (Wikimedia Commons)

An Original Cyrch a Chwta

Catching Comets (NEOWISE C2020)

See the comet NEOWISE
streaming its tail as it flies.
While it may take a few tries—
You’ll need clear northwestern skies—
It is large enough in size
To see with unaided eyes.
Catch it better on the wing
With something that magnifies.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Cyrch A Chwta Poems – Writer’s Digest
Cyrch a Chwta – Poets Collective
Cyrch a chwta – Poetry Magnum Opus


Thanks for reading!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Cyrch a Chwta and share in the comments!

Week Fifty-One: Rannaigheact Mhor

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.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Rannaigheact Mhor – Writer’s Digest
Rannaigheact Mhor Poem – Poems and Quotes


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Rannaigheact Mhor and share in the comments!

Week Fifty: Invented Form

The Switchfoot

As I wind down this poetry challenge (I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for over a year!), I thought I’d temporarily break away from the traditional forms to devise one of my own. Since many of my favorite forms have a metrical component to them, I thought I would focus on meter for my own form. Without further ado, I give you: The Switchfoot.

In the Switchfoot, we put one (metrical) foot in front of other, featuring a different type of metrical foot in each line of a stanza. It’s an exercise in metrical versatility and a great way to practice writing in different meters. (See the chart below for twelve common types of metrical feet).

Twelve metrical feet and their accents. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Key Features of The Switchfoot

Content: each line of a stanza must feature a different metrical foot type

Form: any number stanzas, up to twelve lines per stanza


An Original Switchfoot

it is the sun burning

it is
the sun
bright heart
and it is
with its light
without stars
no world can
live but each
world star dims

A Note on My Original Poem

I wanted my original poem to be a clear example of the form at work, so I set out to with the following goals in mind: 1) I wanted each line to feature a single metrical foot, 2) I wanted to feature each of the twelve metrical foot types in a single stanza, and 3) I wanted to use them in order as listed in the chart provided above. I believe I’ve done this successfully. Now, whether or not all of this adds up to a poem that is successful in it’s own right, I’ll let you be the judge!


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Foot (Prosody) – Wikipedia


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Switchfoot and share in the comments!

Week Forty-Nine: The Cento

Meet the Cento

The Cento is a collage poem (cento in Italian literally means ‘patchwork’) made entirely of lines lifted from other poems, often from a variety of authors. This juxtaposition of voices often highlights interesting contrasts and creates unique conversations between poets and poems no longer bound by time, space, or original context. When taken to its extreme, this collision of verse can reach the point of absurd hilarity, as in John Ashbery’s ‘The Dong With the Luminous Nose’.

Key Features of the Cento

Content: Contains only lines borrowed from other poems and poets.


An Original Cento

The Sky Gave Me Its Heart

The sky gave me its heart
No one believed what happened
Will they wake with their hearts wanting to play,
fallen Phoenix—that sang out from the fire of union

There are wars where no one marches with a flag,
so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes
with such love and power

Most carry their values and knowledge in a jug

I guess I should not have jumped naked
desperate, in need of
a blessed gratitude
and even a man can become

A note on my original cento

I chose to create my poem from a single anthology: Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, edited and translated by Daniel Ladinsky. From this anthology, I decided to borrow one line from each of the twelve featured poets in sequential order. The line number from each line in the original poem coincides with the number of the line used in my cento. For example, the third line of Rumi’s ‘The Way Wings Should’ became the third line of my own poem, and so on through the poem’s twelve lines. My cento features one line from each of these poets (listed in order): Rabia, St. Francis of Assisi, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hafiz, St. Catherine of Siena, Kabir, Mira, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Tukaram.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Cento Poems – Writer’s Digest
Cento – Poets.org
Cento – Wikipedia
How to Write a Cento – Write Shop


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Cento and share in the comments!

Week Forty-Eight: The Rispetto

Meet the Rispetto

The Rispetto is an old Italian lyric form expressing love or respect (rispetto) for its subject and has many variations. The variation I’ve chosen for my own poem is similar in many ways to the Ottava Rima, another popular stanzaic Italian form.

Key Features of the Rispetto

*Note – These describe but one of many variations of the form

Content: Traditionally expresses love or respect (rispetto) to the subject

Form: Contains one stanza made of eight lines (octave/octet)

Rhyme: ababccdd or abababcc

Syllables: eleven-syllable lines (hendecasyllabic)


An Original Rispetto

My Muse, she sings but softly

My Muse, she sings but softly these warring days
With her harmonious sisters Voice and Verse;
Their chantsongs echoing faint and far away,
Will not reach me here to end this silent curse.
To dark and ancient music, to thund’rous drums,
We used to dance the twilight, shimmer, and hum.
I need their sweet music, their timbre, and tone.
I can hardly bear to sing my voice alone.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Rispetto – Writer’s Digest
Rispetto – Shadow Poetry
Rispetto – Britannica
The Rispetto – Verse Forms


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Rispetto and share in the comments!

Week Forty-Seven: Seguidilla

Dancing with the Seguidilla

The term Seguidilla can refer to either the Spanish dance form or the poetic form that evolved from it.

Key Features of the Seguidilla

Form: Consists of any number of seven-line stanzas

Content: Features a pause and tone change at the end of line 5

Rhyme: Assonance (vowel sound) rhymes between lines 2 and 4, and 5 and 7

Syllables: Counted 7/5/7/5/5/7/5


An Original Seguidilla

June 2020

The legendary dance halls
Of Barcelona    
Are empty; all the dancers
Are dancing at home.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa
A stadium filled with hate
Is losing control.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Seguidilla – Writer’s Digest
Sequidilla (Poetry) – Wikipedia
Seguidilla – Wikipedia


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Seguidilla and share in the comments!

Week Forty-Six: The Nonet

Nine is the Number

In music, a nonet refers to a group of nine instruments or performers. In poetry, it refers to a nine-line poem that begins with a nine-syllable line. The nonet is one of a number of ‘shrinking’ forms, such as Diminishing Verse (Week 2)

Key Features of the Nonet

Form: Consists of a single nine-line stanza

Syllables: Begins with nine syllables and diminishes by one with each proceeding line

Rhyme: Optional


An Original Nonet

Witness the Power of Growing Things

Witness the power of growing things:
Revolutions of nature, life
Like leaves and petals spreading,
Like stems and trunks rising,
Voluminous fruits,
Tender berries,
Bound in a


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Nonet Poems – Writer’s Digest
Nonet – Poetry Dances
Nonet – Shadow Poetry


Come back every Friday for a new form!

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Write your own Nonet and share in the comments!

Week Forty-Five: Dodoitsu

Meet the Dodoitsu

The Dodoitsu is one of a wide variety of popular Japanese haiku variations. While some poetic forms can seem daunting and overly restrictive, the elegant simplicity of these forms gives them an air of accessibility that is inviting to poets of all ages and levels of experience.

Key Features of the Dodoitsu

Title: Title optional

Form: Usually consists of a single four-line stanza (quatrain)

Syllables: The first three lines contain seven syllables, and the final line contains five

Content: Traditionally have a theme of love or work and occasionally feature a humorous, unexpected twist


An Original Dodoitsu

Spring Garden

Black-eyed Susans, snapdragons
and lavender for the bees;
sugar water, Wendy’s Wish
for the hummingbirds.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Dodoitsu – Writer’s Digest
Dodoitsu – Wikipedia
Dodoitsu – Poets Collective
Dodoitsu – Poetry Magnum Opus


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Dodoitsu and share in the comments!

Week Forty-Four: Epitaph

Here Lies the Epitaph

In Greek, the word epitaph literally means, “on the tomb.” These short, sometimes pithy, sometimes funny, gravestone inscriptions are often found underneath the name and birth and death dates of the person being memorialized. Though not all epitaphs are poetic, the most moving and memorable ones often are. Shakespeare’s self-penned epitaph even comes with a curse:


Key Features of the Epitaph

Content: Remarks in some way upon the life and/or character of the person being memorialized

Form: Short; sometimes pithy, sometimes humorous

Rhyme: Sometimes rhymed


For a great collection of epitaphs of celebrities and historical figures, see the article “29 Unforgettable Epitaphs” at mentalfloss.com.



An Original Epitaph

Handshakes and High Fives
? – 2020

While bows and waves
May yet survive,
We must say farewell
To handshakes and high fives.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Epitaphs – Writer’s Digest
Epitaph – Poetry Foundation
Epitaph – Literary Terms
Epitaph – Wikipedia


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Epitaph and share in the comments!

Week Forty-Three: Monotetra

Meet the Monotetra

The Monotetra is a modern form developed by New Zealand poet Michael Walker. The form, with its meter and short monorhymed lines, has a singsong quality that lends itself to lighter verse.

Key Features of the Monotetra

Form: consists of any number of four-line stanzas (quatrains)

Rhyme: monorhymed within each stanza

Syllables: four metrical feet (or eight syllables) per line

Ending: the same four syllables are repeated in the final line of each stanza


An Original Monotetra

I Sing the Blues

When all the words I write confuse;
When my weak voice won’t reach the muse,
And life shows me no other hues,
I sing the blues; I sing the blues.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Monotetra – Writer’s Digest
Monotetra – Shadow Poetry
Monotetra – Poets Collective


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own Monotetra and share in the comments!