Friday, June 24, 2022

Poetry Sisters Write Byr a Thoddaid

This month's challenge was to write in the form of Byr a Thoddaid. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest. It has a lot going on in terms of rhyme and meter and frankly, looked a bit complicated. Once I got started, it wasn't so bad. The form I used was this suggested option:


I was inspired to write to this photo Liz Garton Scanlon took while hiking the West Highland Way.

Photo by Liz Garton Scanlon, 2022.  

I couldn't get this sweet image out of my head. Since I have a hard time writing to form without a topic, I decided to focus on these lambs. Here's my poem.

West Highland Lambs

Lambing season arrives each spring
when tender-hearted little things
roam the Scottish countryside. Rain or shine
they twine beside the lane

two undisturbed by those who pass.
A mother and her bonnie lass
quietly witness with wonder this pair
under a sky so fair.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

Interestingly, after writing this poem I found a different description of this form that I actually like a bit better. Instead of 3 rhymes, it uses only 2. You can read more about this version at Poetry Magnum Opus. Here is the form they suggest:


Needless to say, I decided to try again with this form. Here's a second poem written to the photo of the lambs.

they followed the West Highland Way
discovering beauty each day
mother and daughter under gray skies spied
in a hide in the hay

two lambs twined together asleep
this sight made their open hearts weep
mother and daughter felt bone-deep wonder
found oneness with wee sheep

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

I'm not sure I followed the rules exactly, as the guideline is "the main rhyme appears somewhere near the end of a longer line and the end word is a secondary rhyme... The last syllable is echoed  somewhere in the first half of the next line as secondary rhyme, alliteration, consonance or assonance." I didn't use the same approach in each stanza. In the first the words rhyme (spied/hide). In the second I've used assonance (wonder, oneness). I'm not sure I like this as much as the first, but there are ideas here I like. I'll need to keep playing with this form.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

    Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing acrostic phrase poems. Choose any line from the poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou and use each word in the phrase to begin a new line of your poem. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on July 29th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

    I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core. Happy poetry Friday friends. 


    1. What I love about this form is that it seems to encourage you to tell a story---no matter how small. This photo was a lovely place to start, and you've made it even lovelier with your carefully chosen words---"they twine beside the lane" Sigh. So sweet....

    2. Such a sweet photo, and your poem adds to that...especially since we know the lucky "mother and her bonnie lass!" I do like the first one better, but fun that you found another version of the form and gave it a try!

    3. I think the Scots might have something to say about "the English countryside," but I imagine that must've been such a lovely trail. Since I didn't really hike anywhere much in Scotland (roadside berrying, apparently, doesn't really count) I'm only a bit familiar with one end of the route, but I'm imagining it was lovely, and you pulled the true beauty from it - mother-daughter travels.

      1. Oops! Definitely need to fix that! Good thing English and Scottish have the same number of syllables!

    4. Tricia, I do like what you wrote, especially in form one. The photo shares a tender scene and aligns well with your words. I did not have time to play with this form but maybe someday.

    5. And now I'm crying!! These are beautiful, both (I'm especially a fan of the first), and I'm sharing with Willa now! Thank you for making the photo even more beautiful!

    6. Posting this here. It came through email, but did not appear in the comments section.

      laurasalas has left a new comment on your post "Poetry Sisters Write Byr a Thoddaid":

      I love the frank emotion in these, Tricia. And they make me think of our first trip to Scotland, in April, when lambs seemed to coat every hill like a spilled bag of cotton balls. And also of when our younger daughter lived in Scotland, and I felt so connected to the country. And now of Liz's lovely journey. I'm feeling everything! Thanks for these--and so, so lovely to see you!

      Posted by laurasalas to The Miss Rumphius Effect at Jun 25, 2022, 7:48 AM