Englyn (plural englynion) is a traditional Welsh and Cornish short poem form. It uses quantitative meters, involving the counting of syllables, and rigid patterns of rhyme and half rhyme. Each line contains a repeating pattern of consonants and accent known as cynghanedd. There are eight types of englynion. We’ll highlight three.

The earliest englynion, for instance, are written in three-line stanzas, each line of seven syllables, with a single end rhyme, thus:

_ _ _ _ _ _ a
_ _ _ _ _ _ a
_ _ _ _ _ _ a

The englyn penfyr, with a more elaborate rhyme scheme. In this form, the first line is 10 syllables long, and the second and third are seven syllables each. The final word of the first line must be polysyllabic and must rhyme with the first word of the second line. The second and third lines have end rhyme:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ a
a _ _ _ _ _ b
_ _ _ _ _ _ b

The three-line englyn evolved into a four-line stanza. Perhaps the most common is the englyn cyrch, four seven-syllable lines of which lines one, two and four rhyme and the end of line three has an internal rhyme in line four:

_ _ _ _ _ _ a
_ _ _ _ _ _ a
_ _ _ _ _ _ b
_ _ _ b _ _ a

Try any variation of the Englyn.




In the shadows of the night,
two lovers stand , both in sight
of each others hearts. They light

the path of life they have chosen to stride,
Bride-to-be and her young man
facing futures hand-in-hand.

Obstacles may block the way,
but face them not with dismay.
Walk in courage and be strong,
take love along from this day.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

*** Stanza one is a standard three-line Englyn, stanza two is an Englyn Penfyr, and stanza three is a four-line Englyn cyrch.




As rain drizzles down luxuriantly;
esuriant eyes soon bask,
in her fresh dew…hopes it lasts.

(C) Copyright Benjamin Thomas – 2014

134 thoughts on “INFORM POETS – ENGLYN

  1. You guys aren’t making it easy for the mid-week crowd here, are you? This is an interesting challenge. I don’t know if I’ll come up with anything after such terrific examples, but I’ll see what I can do.

  2. When your writing needs a tweak,
    It’s good to go for critique.
    But when comments fly, don’t shriek!


    Who says love will always last––filled with hope
    some dope blind to the past
    sees through a rose-tinted glass.
    Love takes work or ends up trash.



    Politicians love to tax––oh, what thieves,
    what deeds done to the max
    fleece the poor! Why through the cracks
    do rich folks fall? Ask the PAC’s!


  5. Shhhhh

    To keep a secret safe, chum
    Tell no one – for friends’ tongues thrum.
    Three a secret keeps unsaid
    If two are dead- rule of thumb.

    “Three may keep a secret, if two are dead.” Benjamin Franklin

  6. Revolution

    In the fight forward they went
    Past the stench of much blood spent
    Driven on by fear of loss
    Such is the cost; freedom’s rent

    Freedom on the chopping block
    Slavery awaits the flock
    Masters wait with key in lock

    What happened to our free society
    We, the people, taken down
    Liberty will not be bound

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  7. Englynion

    Memory Games

    Englyn Simple

    Pachyderms seem dull and yet,
    they will always win a bet:
    elephants never forget.

    Englyn Penfyr

    Memories laid bare like an open book:
    look back and remember when,
    things were so different then.

    Englyn Cyrch

    Perhaps a trick of the light,
    a shadow seen in the night,
    a wisp, a vapour drifting:
    as if with wings, heart takes flight.

    p.s. I still don’t like form but it’s Celtic so I really had no choice!


  8. Pingback: A Mushroom – A Englyn Penfyr | The Chalk Hills Journal

  9. I have to say that what I really wanted to write and what fell out of my brain are two different things for this one. All I can do is throw my effort at the feet of the community and then run like a bunny. 🙂

    The Challenge

    And within a measured beat,
    For all that I felt the heat,
    I must always be discreet.

    Not that I want to seem intransigent,
    Acquiescent is for me
    Much more unlikely, you see.

    Once upon a middling time,
    A request was made for rhyme.
    I saw no chance to excel—
    A choice; repel fast or climb.


    “Three’s a crowd,” old Grumble said,
    “save when two old creeps are dead.
    Then the Jeep’s brakes can be bled.”

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  11. Maybe you’ll never write in form anywhere but here, but at least we can dissect the process if we look closely. To those who venture, great work. And the messenger lives! Walt

  12. Pingback: Elegy for the Always Missing Most Aggravating | Metaphors and Smiles

  13. Here’s my attempt at the englyn penfyr variation…

    Elegy for the Always Missing Most Aggravating

    We suffer your death perpetually
    continuously you die
    you are the means to our life.

    For him departure’s an emergency,
    mysteriously missing
    lost again while we’re kissing…

    The door’s a threshold to insanity,
    profanities – scramble – search…
    truly, it makes my head hurt.

    Perched on the hope of reincarnation
    echolocation employed,
    all our expertise deployed.

    We upturn the cushions, dedicated.
    Satiated not – we search,
    even the unlikely perch…

    There’s no place escaping exploration,
    desperation won this round;
    you’re nowhere to be found.

    Solution’s given conceptually,
    eventually he’ll ply
    spare you from endless demise.

    If he’d but treat you habitually,
    continually – be nice…
    place his keys in same spot twice?

    One day there will be true accomplishment
    acknowledgment properly…
    till then – heartfelt elegy.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  14. KARMA

    We’re strapped to the Karmic Wheel––in a spin
    for sins we need to heal.
    Grin and bear it? What’s the deal?
    Throw away Heaven? Get real!


    • Despite the feeling of frustration I think I sense here, the second line is so lovely, I almost wish winter would never end.

    • Michelle, you should have told me you were in the neighborhood. 🙂 Great job. I can relate to this one. Bright sunshine a few days ago, even as rain poured down. The snow came the day before. 🙂


    Since you came and showed me how,
    now I too can milk a cow.
    But the cow does not like me;
    cold hands, you see, crease her brow.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    Sometimes I wonder if a crazy Celt,
    belting out a tuneless tune,
    birthed the pipes to spite the moon.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  17. Easter Egg Hunt

    Children searching high and low
    For easter eggs—they don’t know
    Local dogs are best of show

    They watch the parents hiding
    Bright colored eggs, while biding
    Their time. There will be chiding.

    This teaches children timing:
    You-snooze-you-lose good rhyming
    Or eggs in trees good climbing.

  18. Hummmm

    The hummers spend one tired day
    Sharing feeders until they
    are rested enough to fight;
    migration’s flight is passe’

    I wanted to try them all. A tricky little form. Thanks for sharing it, Walt and Ben.

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