BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond – Kyrielle Sonnet – November 1, 2014

Hello Everybody …

It’s Saturday, it’s a new month and it’s time to look at a prompt and a new poetry form!


This is the third week into our new format and so far we’ve looked into  the Pleiades and the Rondine.  

Today I’m going to take you into one of my favorite forms the Kyrielle Sonnet.

A little background:

 As you can tell by the name is a combination of two historical forms. A  Kyrielle is a French form consisting of quatrains (a stanza of 4 lines) with the ending line of each stanza being repeats to create a refrain.  There is no limit to how many stanzas you use but the rhyming pattern is usually aabbZ (the z being the repeating line) or ababZ … sometimes the Kyrielle can be written aXaZ , the X here changes throughout the poem.

A Sonnet is a form also written with quatrains, but it is limited to 14 lines and has a particular rhyming pattern, it also has between 10 and 12 syllables per line, depending on if it’s an English, French or Italian sonnet.


And now the from:

When you put the forms together and you’ve got the Kyrielle Sonnet with the following rules:

Like the traditional Kyrielle poem, the Kyrielle Sonnet
also has a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing  as the last line of each stanza).
Each line within the Kyrielle Sonnet consist of only 8 syllables
French poetry forms have a tendency to link back to the beginning of the poem, so common practice is to use the first and last line of the first quatrain as the ending  couplet.
This would also re-enforce the refrain within the poem.
Therefore, a good rhyming scheme
for a Kyrielle Sonnet would be:
AabB, ccbB, ddbB, AB -or- AbaB, cbcB, dbdB, AB.

Here’s a Kyrielle Sonnet I wrote a few months ago using the second rhyming scheme … You’ll find it HERE. I’m going to color code this poem so you can see the rhyming scheme more easily:


To never hear your voice again
To never see your open smile
To know each long day will begin,
Wondering if life is worthwhile

Long is the morn now that your gone.
Often, it’s just an empty trial.
I’d slumber too and not go on
Wondering if life is worthwhile

Where are your kisses in the morn?
(Ah to pretend yet for awhile,
That loneliness may be forsworn.)
Wondering if life is worthwhile

To never hear your voice again ..
Wondering if life is worthwhile.

(C) G.s.k. ’14

As you can see, the important rhyme is the “b” rhyme of the first stanza, which is repeated throughout the poem …  so try to avoid words like chaos or purple!

You can go to Shadow Poetry to look at other examples of this form: HERE.



Now for the prompt … it’s November so I want to put up two photographic prompts that describe November here in Italy.

The most common flower we see here in Italy during this month is the Chrysanthemum.  This is because traditionally, in this Catholic country, November is the month when people put flowers on their relatives (and ancestor’s) graves … usually Mums.

This is also the month of the persimmon.  An orange-red fruit that reminded me of  tomatoes when I first saw them way back in the ’70s.  Now there are many varieties of persimmons including a tough variety  known as the apple-persimmon.

You can use the photos for your Shadorma poem if you don’t feel like trying the new form …

in bright autumn skies
fleshy sweet
red round balls
the tree stands near father’s grave
with pretty blue mums.

(c) G.s.k. ’14

The Shadorma is a poem with 6 lines, commonly thought to be of Spanish origin, created to imitate a Japanese haiku.  There is no rhyming scheme but there is a syllable pattern it’s: 3-5-3-3-7-5.


Once you’ve written your post please tagBJ’s Shadorma & Beyond  and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, then put your info onto the Mr. Linky app!  If you ping me back, I’ll be able to read your post asap because I will be notified that you’ve  written the post (not so with Mr. Linky) …That’s all there is to it!





  1. 10 syllables is not quite right for a sonnet (or Kyrielle): Counting only syllables, without taking stresses into account, can result in a very lumpy rhythm.

    A sonnet is usually lines of 5 iambic feet (iambic = an unstressed element followed by a stressed element. It is acceptable to vary the pattern slightly, eg an anapest (two short and one stressed fyllable) I can thoroughly recommend Stephen Fry’s Book “The Ode Less Travelled” which is full of examples of poetic forms and a comprehensive description of the different poetic metres.


    • Thanks Viv … Stephen Fry’s Book is the greatest and I’m sure our “free versers” who have no background in iambic feet (or the poetic jargon that goes with writing meter) will enjoy it immensely … it is written in a clear concise manner with great humor … so everyone … give it a go!

      I agree, stress is important, and if nothing else it would be good for our poets to re-read aloud their poems in order to avoid the lumpiness you’re talking about.

      These prompts are introductions to poetry form for people who usually don’t write forms … many only write free verse, some only haiku or Shadorma … many already feel challenged by the simplified instructions used in our posts. The Shadow Poetry site is the one I used to describe the Sonnet … and the Kyrielle.

      Thanks so much for your comment and I hope you’ll write a Kyrielle Sonnet for us 🙂


    • Know what you mean about poetic jargon .. but once you get over that hurdle … it’s fun to write them! 🙂 Thanks for participating!


  2. Reblogged this on Blog It or Lose It! and commented:

    Want to try a Kyrielle Sonnet? It’s not scary at all!

    There are 14 lines, and each line is 8 syllables long;
    The poem has three quatrains (four-line stanzas) and one couplet (two-line stanza);
    The first and last lines of the first quatrain also serve as the ending couplet;
    The last line of the first quatrain also serves as a refrain for each succeeding quatrain;
    The rhyme scheme of the kyrielle sonnet is, therefore:
    AabB / ccbB / ddbB / AB
    AbaB / cbcB / dbdB / AB


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