Rionnard (rinnard)

Jane Dougherty Writes

This was last week’s poetry form chosen by Paul Brookes. You can read the contributions here.

I almost didn’t attempt this one, a complicated Irish form with rules I didn’t understand at first reading. I let it simmer overnight and woke with a first line and an idea of the first stanza. When I wrote it down, it turned out not to work, but I thought I could see how to fix it.

First, I wrote down what I knew about the form in simple terms: quatrains, lines of six syllables, rhyme scheme abcb, end rhymes bi-syllable words, consonance in lots of places, alliteration in every line, and it ends with a dunedh (opening line or word ends the poem).

Constructing the poem was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I started at the end, picked a two-syllable word that could both open and close the poem, then wrote a…

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