March 14, 2007

The Measures of Welsh Poetry: Part 3: The Cywydd

Dry Stone Wall

C. The Cywydd Measures
This is a series of four parts that covers:
Cynghanedd ;
• the Englyn ;
• the Cywydd ;
• and the Awdl .
Like the englyn, these measures usually use cynghanedd as well as the other formal restraints.

1. Awdl-Gywydd (poem made up of a synthesis of the cywydd and awdl)
Lines: 4 (2 x sets of 2)
Syllable Count per line: 7, 7, 7, 7
Rhyme Pattern: b, (b) a (internal rhyme in the middle of line 2), b, (b) a (internal rhyme in middle of line 4).

2. Cywydd Deuair Hirion (Long-lined couplet Cywydd)
Lines: 2
Syllable Count per line: 7, 7
Rhyme Pattern: a, a (Rhyme alternates between ending on a stressed and an unstressed syllable e.g. dress – brightness, bell – ystafell).
Note: This is one of the most popular measures. It can be a single couplet or a long narrative piece written using many couplets.

3. Cywydd Deuair Fyrion (Short-lined Couplet Cywydd)
Lines: 2
Syllable Count per line: 4, 4
Rhyme Pattern: a, a (Rhyme alternates between ending on a stressed and an unstressed syllable e.g. dress – brightness, bell (far) – ystafell (room)).
Note: This is rarely used.

4. Cywydd Llosgyrnog (Llosgyrnog from Llosgwrn meaning ‘tail’ – a Tailed Cywydd)
Lines: 3
Syllable Count per line: 8,8,7
Rhyme Pattern: a, a, (a) b (main rhyme in lines 1 and 2 has an internal rhyme in the middle of line 3)
Note: This is rare. The unit is used to write longer poems.

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