Poetic Forms: 5. Celtic Verse: Cywydd Measures

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5. Celtic Verse: Cywydd Measures

There are 24 traditional Welsh poetic forms as set down in the 14th century by Einion Offeiriad and Dafydd Ddu Athro.


Cywydd Measures
These measures are one of the traditional Welsh verse forms.

There is no exact translation for the word cywydd, but these forms are among the most popular celtic measures. They give their name to a whole group of 13th and 14th-century poets, who became known as the cywyddwyr (or cywydd-men.) There are four cywydd measures:

Awdl gywydd (all gu-with )

* * * * * * A
* * A * * * B
* * * * * * C
* * C * * * B


Cywydd deuair Hyrion ( cuh-with day-air her-ee-on ; long-lined couplets)

The form consists of seven-syllable rhymed couplets.

* * * * * * A
* * * * * * A

* * * * * * B
* * * * * * B

and so on…..

One of the last words in the couplet has to be trochaic (/accented, unaccented/) and the other iambic (/unaccented, accented/). In other words, the rhyming syllables alternate between stressed and unstressed (so "confess" and "brightness" might end two consecutive lines).


Cywydd deuair fyrion (cuh-with day-air froo-ee-on ; short-lined couplets)

It is a very rare form. It consists of four- syllable rhymed couplets, stressed as above, one trochaic, one iambic.

* * * A
* * * A

* * * B
* * * B


Cywydd llosgyrnog (cuh-with lo-seer-nock )

* * * * * * * A
* * * * * * * A
* * A * * * B
* * * * * * * C
* * * * * * * C
* * C * * * B



In these forms, there is traditionally forgiveness to shift the internal rhyme one space in either direction

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Story Information

Author: fileg

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/01/04

Original Post: 06/12/03

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