Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April is for A-z... And poetry...

is for Awdl 

The good thing about Welsh poetry forms is that they are a whole bunch easier to actually write than to pronounce. 

An Awdl is a Welsh ode with a complicated rhyme scheme of internal rhymes and alliteration called cynghanedd (I am not even attempting a whisper!)  There are some 24 variations, and I am trying one called Hir a Thoddaid. 

I have finally found one example of a rule that is easier done than said!  That’s a huge education in itself.

The rules are

·        10 syllable lines, can be any metre
·        6 line stanzas, any number, usually an ode is a long poem
·      All six lines must rhyme, lines 1-4 use end rhymes, line 5 uses the rhyme internally on the 7th, 8th or 9th syllable, and introduces a new end word which then must rhyme internally with the last line.

Sounds insanely complex, but it’s easier to just jump in and try.  Here’s the one I wrote, with the end rhymes and internal rhymes in a different colours:

Awdl for you!

Butterflies and buds, bees and nightingales
winds of change, or from the West, even Wales
glorified body parts of slim females
some cute aspect of nature never fails
Me writing an awdl? My heart quails in fear
the rules are key, subjects just mere details.

What topic should I address in an ode?
Forget the whales, the seahorse and the toad
pots and urns have been done quite a la mode
there’s no point going down that well-trodden road.
Great words do not with time erode, and so
there’s no option but to go beyond Spode.

The thinking’s done, now this is what I state
my ode to ode itself I dedicate
I waited years, the Awdl is worth the wait
the sole scheme harder to articulate
than to act upon and illustrate the rhyme;
this likely my one and only time till date.

Awdls are easier to write than to explain
that one fact is a splendiferous gain
from childhood it’s been dinned into my brain -
that talk is cheap, action the tough terrain
rough diamond in the seam of plain black coal;
this reboots and corrects the whole again.

Awdl, I am totally in awe of you
though I can’t pronounce your name, not a clue
but we’ve come this far, we’re almost through (phew!)
You know what? you could safely say that too
of my name and it would be true no doubt.
But we’re much more than names we shout or spew.

Done.  Awdl for you.  Do you have any Welsh? if so, please tell me the pronunciation of cynghanedd, and for that matter awdl too.

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.


  1. Hi Nila! Thought I'd drop by and wish you well for the A- Z. No, I don't have any Welsh. This sounds complicated. Thanks for the Awdl!

    1. Hi Denise, and thanks for the wishes! The only Welsh I know is a girl's name, starting with all the vowels in the alphabet but pronounced Efa :) The verse was fun to write.
      Have a great week.

  2. Lol I can't pronounce it too! Awdl. Awkward yeah, but I love the ode done. :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I do hope someone with Welsh will turn up here and put me out of my agony! :)

  3. Lovely poetry but the ghost of Mark Twain just doubled the Bourbon in his glass trying to pronounce it!

    I have poets on my Outlaw Trail this month and their ghosts, too! Thanks for visiting. :-)

    1. Thoroughly looking fwd to meeting the poet ghosts. Pass on my thanks to Mark Twain's ghost for even trying. Awesome having him here :)

  4. This is impressive. I can never get my poetry to rhyme. I think I will give it a shot after a shot of bourbon first. ;)

  5. HOLY COW! That is quite the challenge! I hope the rest of April's styles arent as much work for you... IM SO IMPRESSED! I will be back for A to Z

  6. Holy heck. Nice job! Poetry is NOT something I'm good at, so it's doubly impressive to me. lol

  7. http://howjsay.com/

    This is the website I use for English pronunciation, but maybe there are more for other languages. Has to be right! Lovely job, I can't believe the work involved - you are amazing!

    1. Thanks for that link, Yolanda. There are some sites for Welsh, but none of them offer anything on prosodic terms or verse forms, sadly.Too "narrow", more focused on everyday words.

  8. Wow, well done! That was complicated, although you made it look easy.
    Welsh is one of the most difficult languages. I heard people speak it when I visited Wales years ago and it sounded even more challenging spoken.

    1. The verse forms in Welsh are beautiful, the internal rhymes give them an extra dose of magic.

  9. Insanely complex, yes. But incredibly beautiful too. Loved it. :D

  10. Amazing Awdl...Oh gowd.. awkward.. thanks a ton for introducing me to awdl... I'll google more.. second... beautiful ode!!
    third well done in challenge ...fourth All the beast... u R AWdlSome !

  11. Thank yous for visiting!

    Loved the humour :-) @Kokila


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