2005 Form Challenges
#7 Welsh Poetry
Awdl forms

Introduction

The Welsh and the Irish share a similar culture and just as the Irish had their "Tir na nOg" (the land of the ever young), so to the Welsh had their "Annwfn" (The land underground). Sharing the same heritage is it any wonder that Welsh poetry, like Irish is just as complex with reliance on sound structures, and rhyme not as important as repetition, alliteration and rhythm. However, unlike Irish poetry it is not cyclic and there is no need for the last line to end with the first syllable word or the complete line.

If we look at my Welsh Poetry site (Celtic 2), you will see that there are 24 traditional forms, and that these forms can be placed into 3 categories; Awdl (odes), Cywyddau (cywydd measures), and Englynion (englyns). The Awdl comprises the majority of poetry forms and it is proposed over the next few weeks, that it will be an ongoing challenge with a new form being introduced every four days or so. It will be found after a few days that some of these poetry forms use a similar base, or a couplet and form part of a family of forms.

What must be remembered is that these forms are not based on English rules as Welsh is a very musical language, and rather than rhyme alone the poet based the work on alliteration, assonance or secondary or half rhyme also.

Awdl (Odes)

Although there are twelve Awdl forms, several of them were not commonly used and the only examples I have seen have been in reference works that mention them or give examples. It has been considered that the reason might lie with the move of the Welsh Knights into the Enlish Courts and the loss of patronage to their poets. Welsh poets lost their incentive to teach their craft and in the end with the death the last professional poet, Grufydd Phylip of Ardudwy in 1666, the art was kept alive only by enthusiastic amateurs.

Rhupunt Four syllable lines. Three, four, or five line stanza. Rhyme pattern A. A. A. B. Last line of each stanza rhyme. More Detailed Information
Tawddgyrch cadwynog Four syllable lines. Similar to the Rhupunt, but usually a Four line stanza.
Rhyme pattern; A. B. B. A.
More Detailed Information
Cyhydedd fer Rhyming couplets

Eight syllable lines.
More Detailed Information
Cyhydedd hir Eight line stanza; two quatrains. Each quatrain; three, five syllable lines, sharing same rhyme. Last line; four syllables, main rhyme. More Detailed Information
Cyhydedd naw ban Nine syllable lines. Rhyming couplets minimum verse structure. Stanzas must have at least a rhyming tercet, or two couplets. More Detailed Information
Cyrch a chwta Eight, seven syllable lines
First six sharing same rhyme
Finishing with a couplet similar to Awdl gywydd.
More Detailed Information
Byr a thoddaid Quatrain stanzas of two couplets
one couplet eight syllables
one toddaid byr couplet. Couplets in any order.
More Detailed Information
Gwawdodyn Quatrain stanzas of two couplets
one couplet nine syllables
one toddaid byr couplet. Couplets in any order.
More Detailed Information
Gwawdodyn hir Sestet stanzas of three couplets, two couplets nine syllables common rhyme, one toddaid couplet, internal rhyme, ten and nine syllables More Detailed Information
Hir a thoddaid Sestet stanzas of three couplets, two couplets ten syllables common rhyme, one toddaid couplet, internal rhyme, ten and nine syllables More Detailed Information
Thoddaid Couplets, One ten syllable line with internal rhyme, followed by a nine syllable line to form couplet More Detailed Information
Clogyrnach Soon to be released More Detailed Information



Any Comments or Suggestions, please email me

2005 Poetry Challenge
The Poets Garret
Tir na nOg