Monday, May 02, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Ae freslige

Today I'm sharing a form known as ae freslige. Some say it's Irish, others Celtic. Some spell it ae freslige, other ae freslighe. There are even different descriptions of the form. Here are two I've seen.

From The Shapes of Our Singing, by Robin Skelton:
The Ae Freslige may be summarised as follows: the numbers in the brackets indicating th enumber of syllables in the last word of the line:
     Syllables:     7(3)     7(2)     7(3)     7(2)
     End rhymes:  A         B          A         B

From The Poets Garret:
Each stanza is a quatrain of seven syllables. Lines one and three rhyme with a triple (three syllable) rhyme and two and four use a double (two syllable) rhyme. As was stated earlier. the poem should end with the first syllable word or the complete line that it began with.
x x x x (x x a)
x x x x x (x b)
x x x x (x x a)
x x x x x (x b)

I hope you'll join me today in writing some version of an ae freslige. I love the added challenge provided in the form as escribed by The Poets Garret. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Gonna write this in my wee book and fiddle with it on the plane today!

  2. Old Spice and old tobacco,
    Crisp white shirt, brown tweed jacket
    searched pockets for the Zippo,
    tried to light his cigarette.

    Coughed the cough old smokers cough.
    Tried to light it one more time.
    Flick, flame, fume, it took. Then soft
    wispy clouds began to wind

    smoky tendrils round his head,
    a crown for my dear Papa.
    As I ate my sugar bread
    we watched the batter pop a

    fly to first, and Dodgers win!
    He’d taught me to love baseball
    and that gambling’s not a sin.
    He picked the Yankees each fall.

    My dime went on the Dodgers.
    No complaints, he paid his chit.
    To me, he was Roy Rodgers,
    my hero. I, his favorite.

    Papa never swung a bat,
    or caught a ball in leather,
    ran the bases, tipped his hat,
    or ball statistics gathered.

    Poverty was all he knew
    from the time he was a kid.
    Hands and wrists and elbows grew
    gnarled: knees and feet so twisted,

    joints and limbs like woven reeds
    before he had turned twenty,
    left him free to plant the seeds
    of love and courage in me.

    Every autumn I recall,
    (as the home team takes the field
    and the pitcher throws the ball,
    man on second tries to steal)

    and can almost see his face
    still searching for the Zippo
    with good humor and good grace,
    Old Spice and old tobacco.

    ©2016 Judith Robinson all rights reserved.

  3. Thanks, Tricia for this amazing forum... (spell check misspelled that last word, but I'm leaving it, because it's true, it's true!). And Judith: your poem is stunning. Wow.

  4. Dayenu, April.

    It would have been enough to know you read it.