2020 Poetry Form Challenge

#27 Wreathed and Unwreathed Quatrains



Wreathed poetry is simply a natural blending of English poetry with the Celtic Welsh. Its creator George Herbert was born into a wealthy artistic family in Wales and later was educated in Trinity College, Cambridge and was unpublished until after his death. It is believed that his poem A Wreath was inspired by the Welsh form Englyn cryrch which uses an internal rhyme scheme with an external one and gives a couplet scheme of:

x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.

The red in the second line indicates that the internal rhyme can be anywhere in the first part of second line and can be a repeat word rather than a rhyme. that is the poets decision. There is no internal rhyme in the first line, It was later that poets saw the possibilities and created the quatrain with a rhyme scheme of:

x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.
x. x. x. x. x. x.
x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.

Here is an example of that form by George Herbert:

A Wreath

A wreathed garland of deserved praise,
Of praise deserved, unto thee I give,
I give to thee, who knowest all my wayes,
My crooked winding wayes, wherein I live,

Wherein I die, not live : for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to thee,
To thee, who art more farre above deceit,
Then deceit seems above simplicitie.

Give me simplicitie, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know thy wayes,
Know them and practise them : then shall I give
For this poore wreath, give thee a crown of praise.

George Herbert (1593 - 1633)

Un-wreathed Poetry

Later poets realised that some Irish forms led with an internal form and from that was born Un-wreathed poetry, simply the reverse of Wreathed in that the first line starts with an internal rhyme with the second external and so on, there being no fifth line there is no external rhyme, giving it a basic rhyme scheme of:

x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.
x. x. x. x. x. x.
x. a.
x. a. x. x. x. x. x. b.
x. x. x. x. x. x. x. a.

Wreath Quatrain

You are all alone and the future's looking bleak
But will that bleakness last until the dawn
Pray before dawn your love again will speak.
What good is luck when your lover has gone

Ryter Roethicle



Un-Wreathed Sestet Challenge Replies



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