Pronounced ‘aye, freshly’ as in “has this room been painted?” “aye, freshly” (booo hisssss, baaad pun)…this is an Irish syllabic, quatrain stanza form. There is so much to say about Celtic Forms that we really should do a full post on it. So we will: check out the post on our favorite masochistic poetry past time, Celtic Forms, here. (link pending). 


What makes Celtic forms so interesting to work on when translated into English forms, is how the Celtic language is much more complex that the English language. This then translates into their poetry being complex systems of rhyme, alliteration and consonance. For the purpose of “versification” (Turco word) in the English language, the systems are inevitably going to be hard to reproduce. Therefor, what you get are simplified versions of the forms. Let’s talk about Celtic rhyme. Instead of the typical rhyming scheme, in some Celtic forms, like this one, more than one part of a word needs to match in order to make the rhyme.

  • Quatrain stanzas (4-line stanzas)
  • 7 syllables per line
  • Lines 1 and 3 rhyme together, in triple rhymes (xxa) [*carrying/tarrying]
  • Lines 2 and 4 rhyme together as double rhymes (xb) [*singing/ringing]
  • The final syllable, word, or line of the entire poem should be the same as the entire poem begins (the poetic term for this is dunadh)
  • Poem can be as concise as one stanza and scale out as far as a poet wishes to push it

As always, a thanks to Lewis Turco and his endless repository of poetic scholarship.