Wednesday, October 12, 2011

When did it die? Awdl gywydd.

Yesterday Grace, at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, introduced one of the twenty-four traditional Welsh rhyming patterns. It has seven syllables on each line, with an interlaced rhyming pattern.

* * * * * * A
* * a * * * B
* * * * * * C
* * c * * * B

It is called an awdl in its long format, or an awdl gywydd in its shorter form. Only my distant Welsh ancestors could dream up a longer name for the shorter format!

After the terror, then the fear, then the reluctance, turned to willingness (of a sort), I let the idea simmer overnight, and played around with it today. The format doesn't call for that last lone line I threw in, but I preferred it at the end rather than as a title (I can't always think of titles).

old age sneaks in when we sleep
now we weep, our youth is gone.
what became of that young girl?
social whirl, then up at dawn:

off to work, then overtime.
love sublime, and sweet romance
pushed exhausted pain aside—
she could ride, and laugh and dance.

when did the laughter die?


Anonymous said...

Ah, but this is beautiful, Kay! It looks and sounds just as easy as ink rolling off a pen onto the page. But oh, the sudden squelching of joy in the final, single line... When indeed?

Marian said...

oh yes, kay, i really like this.
it does seem to have just flowed out of you, wonderfully.

Trellissimo said...

A wistful look into the past here...good one. :)

Lillian Susan Thomas said...

a good use of this form, helps put a bittersweet nostalgic air to your poem by using an ancient form with so much history to it. you do make it look so easy!

Peter Goulding said...

What impresses me is that not only do the lines flow in the strict line length but yours, out of all of ours, has a rhythm.

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Peter — Thank you so much. I used to be good at this, but it has been a long time. Maybe I'm starting to get into the swing of it again, as it were.
— K