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This month's challenge with my poetry sisters was to write a clogyrnach, a form of Welsh poetry that is a song form and is in the "odes" family. I therefore wrote a sort of ode to autumn, which has become my favorite season over the years.

The clogyrnach can have any number of stanzas, but each stanza typically has 32 syllables: the first two lines rhyme and have 8 syllables each (A), the next two lines also rhyme (with themselves--B) and have 5 syllables each, and then you get a pick of two 3-syllable lines (one that rhymes B and the second of which rhymes A) OR a single, 6-syllable line that is of two three-syllable sections that rhyme B-A.

I found that it was extremely easy for these to sound a lot like a limerick, and it really wasn't my preference. Here's proof of that:

Chrysanthemums outside the store
To be planted near one’s front door—
Although August still,
The mums give a thrill
Autumn will come once more.

So after some serious thought and reworking on my part, here's one that uses lots of enjambment, which mostly gets rid of that limerick-y feel:

Outside the store, chrysanthemums
cheerfully remind us: Fall comes
after August’s heat
dwindles. Birds retreat
southward, fleet as blossoms.

You can find other clogyrnach poems by clicking the links below:

Laura Purdie Salas
Sara Lewis Holmes
Tanita S. Davis
Liz Garton Scanlon
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Andi Sibley

You can get to the rest of the Poetry Friday posts by clicking the box below:

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( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
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Diane Mayr
Sep. 2nd, 2016 01:25 am (UTC)
Wow! What a difference a little enjambment makes! Thanks so much for showing us both versions.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 02:45 pm (UTC)
I thought the difference was pretty remarkable - and thank you!
Linda Baie
Sep. 2nd, 2016 04:10 am (UTC)
It is much easier for me to understand your explanation when I read the 2nd version. And it is better, too. Thanks for showing how it goes, lovely "sweet as blossoms".
Sep. 2nd, 2016 02:45 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed them - and thank you for stopping by!
Penny Parker Klostermann
Sep. 2nd, 2016 12:20 pm (UTC)
What an interesting comparison. The enjambment certainly made a different, although I enjoyed both. Thanks for teaching me about a new form and for sharing your beautiful poems.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
Tricia Stohr-Hunt (at Miss Rumphius Effect) is the one who picked this form for us. She explained it earlier this year, and the comments on her post include an especially lovely one from Jane Yolen.
Brenda Harsham
Sep. 2nd, 2016 12:36 pm (UTC)
Happy Poetry Friday
I like the enjambment for the piece as a poem. You also worked in some great images, with the birds circling round to flowers again. A very mature piece with a lot of skill used. The first limericky one, though, would work well in a song.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 02:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy Poetry Friday
It's my understanding that it IS a song form, so I'm glad to hear it, but it still feels "slight" to me due to the limerick-like feel. Thank you for stopping by!
TS Davis
Sep. 2nd, 2016 02:01 pm (UTC)
You put it so nicely, "that wasn't my preference."
...I was all, "I HATE LIMERICKS!" But, truly, this shows the range of what these poems can be; I'm glad you showed both of your tries. And the chrysanthemums are such a lovely image.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 02:49 pm (UTC)
Re: You put it so nicely, "that wasn't my preference."
Well, you see, there were these mum plants for sale outside the local grocery store . . . And I will be getting some after the weekend passes to put in pots outside the house.

And I don't love limericks, though I don't mind them when they are ACTUAL limericks if they aren't too trashy or disgusting. The enjambed version is way more my cup of tea.
Sara Lewis Holmes
Sep. 2nd, 2016 03:43 pm (UTC)
I got some giant mums in pots two years ago and they both DIED. I'm a horrible gardener. But this---this is well-grown, and well-tended. I admire your showing both what you didn't like and what you did. I agree---the last one has grace. (Did I make it up or did you share this with us on Google Docs with the lines centered? I liked the way it looked on the page, I remember--and I thought I should play around with centering too.) Anyhow, lovely images. And yay! Fall. I'm ready.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 07:56 pm (UTC)
I totally shared with lines centered, and was in such a hurry to put this post up that I didn't bother. But I do like the look better that way.
Liz Garton Scanlon
Sep. 2nd, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
I'm so, so glad you shared both of these! The difference is somehow both slight and astounding. May your fall be lovely as the birds wing my way! xoxox
Sep. 2nd, 2016 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re: yes....
What a lovely benediction!
Sep. 2nd, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
I love the glimpse into your process, Kelly. Enjambment is a poet's friend. =)
Sep. 2nd, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
I should embroider that on a pillow.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 07:05 pm (UTC)
Well done!
That's a brilliant revision - you handled the enjambment so well and made the poem really flow, beyond the rhyme and syllable count. Nice job - and thanks for posting it. I might give this form a try - but ouch, it looks hard.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Well done!
It's not so hard, really. As long as you choose words that have rhymes available, it's pretty doable.
Andi Sibley
Sep. 2nd, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, thank you so much for showing us both and letting us in on your process. I just love the second one; it has a haiku feel to it for me. The freshness of the imagery perhaps? I don't know but I makes me happy for fall!
Sep. 6th, 2016 09:54 pm (UTC)
Fall is really my favorite season, and I am looking forward to its actual arrival - it appears summer isn't quite through with us yet.
Doraine Bennett
Sep. 2nd, 2016 10:38 pm (UTC)
Nice job! The enjambment made such a difference.
Sep. 6th, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC)
It was fun to work with it. I was pretty dissatisfied with the first attempt, even though it meet the "requirements" of the form, so it was fun to see that something more refined could be accomplished.
Sep. 2nd, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
"fleet as blossoms" = genius. Love this demonstration of the difference between two poems with the same form and topic.
Sep. 6th, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Laura!
Buffy Silverman
Sep. 3rd, 2016 02:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing both poems--so interesting to see the change in tone!
Sep. 6th, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC)
Between the end rhyme and the end stops, the first one lacked anything like nuance or gravitas.
Mary Lee Hahn
Sep. 3rd, 2016 11:03 am (UTC)
The changes made a remarkable difference...and yet kept to the form. Huzzah! And another loud HUZZAH for fall!
Sep. 6th, 2016 09:56 pm (UTC)
I am SO READY for autumn to arrive! And thank you!
Irene Latham
Sep. 3rd, 2016 09:43 pm (UTC)
Fleet as blossoms! I love how your second example shed the limerick's saucy feel, which didn't fit at all, did it? Wonderful!
Sep. 6th, 2016 09:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Irene - I was really unhappy with that first effort. But I thought it fun to share anyhow.
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