Aug 25, 2011


The Ochtfochlach is an Irish verse form dating back to the 1200s. It consists of an eight-line stanza with a consistent but unspecified length and meter. The rhyme scheme is AAAB CCCB.

Though many of the Irish forms were complicated, the Octfochlach was a br├║ilingeacht, a style which used simpler rhymes, and was considered ├│glachas, or 'apprentice work', a less formal style often used by amateurs.

The Ochtfochlach is:
1. a poem in 8 lines.
2. can have any number of syllables, but should remain consistent.
3. has a rhyme scheme of AAAB CCCB.

I think what I enjoyed most about this form was the fact it was more lyrical than some of the others I’ve been exploring lately. It’s very short, for an Irish form, but I have seen a couple of examples where the poet has continued for additional stanzas. However, when this is done it appears the ‘B’ rhyme is consistent throughout. Some day I just might add stanzas to my example – it seems a little unfinished as it is.

The Contest

I stand within the bardic hall
The audience is in my thrall
My voice fills up the giant hall
With words of power to enchant.
The contest’s run for many days
Where poets speak their words of praise
Only the strongest spirit stays
In hopes the favoured to supplant.

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