Various and obscure poetry formats

This is a Pettigrew. It begins with a person’s name, reversed for poetic reasons, if you need, as I have. The name has to rhyme with last word of first line. Second and third lines are ‘freestyle.’ Ending rhymes required for the second and last lines. There is no other constraint.

I wrote this one for a Creative Writing homework exercise, when I had just bought Paul MCartney’s classical opus, his concerto. ‘Standing Stones.’


McCartney, Paul, you may recall

once from Beatles plucked Wings

Now, in his contrition

He fills his head with much loftier things



Having years ago come up with what I considered to be a killer second line at the time, and in, literally, seconds it has taken me the best part of ten years to finish the last two lines, which I just changed again.


In the course , which was  first class, and had a great bunch of people,  when we returned to poetry a few weeks later the tutor tasked us with writing a ‘Villanelle,’ a highly structured poem, as you will see, but capable of sublime writing. Think about Dylan Thomas, and his ‘Do not go gently . . . .’ Here, is my poor effort, again influenced by Paul McCartney and ‘Standing Stones.’

The structure is:

19 lines composed of 5 tercets, three line stanzas, and a final quatrain, a four line stanza. The first and third line in the opening stanza have to be alternatively repeated in the last line of the other four tercets, and be the last two lines of the ending quattrain. End rhyme for every first and second line in every stanza. Simple.


It’s been a hard day, Knight

Your first concerto now performed

Celtic legend burning bright


Listeners sent soaring in flight

Critics left wailing, to be be scorned

It’s been a hard day, Knight


Standing ovations, such a sight

The maestro deservedly adored

Celtic legend burning bright


Mystic stones, in majestic might

A new legand they have spawned

It’s been a hard day, Knight


Standing stones, silent witnesses to the fight

Of Celtic invasion, as it poured

Celtic legend burning bright


Witness your new hero here tonight

Witness heroes of old, gone yet mourned

It’s been a hard day, Knight

Celtic legend burning bright.





















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