Day 16: Ae Freislighe

Today Chris’s POETRYisEVERYTHING linked me to another blog, elsewhere in the rain, which in turn introduced me to an Irish form, Ae Freislighe (aye-fresh-lee), which has four lines (perhaps more than one stanza) of seven syllables each and an A, B, A, B rhyme scheme. The blogger, Brendan McBreen, further explains that the end rhyming words have a set syllable count: lines 1 and 3, 3 syllables; lines 2 and 4, 2 syllables. The first word or phrase of the poem repeats at the end of the poem. (I’m cribbing most of this from Brendan; see his blog for more details.)

The original prompt was to write a toast. I immediately thought of the Caim blessing(the Celtic Christians had a practice of drawing a circle around what they wished to bless, with stones, or, I imagine, in mind) that hangs on the bulletin board over my washing machine — and so I did a quick Internet search for more such, and found a Celtic Blessings site, which included this little gem:

May those who love us, love us.
And those who don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping.

Maybe you have to have spent 6 weeks on crutches or with your foot elevated to appreciate that fully.

And after all that fuss to introduce you to the ae freislighe form, I’m giving up. We’ll consider it a draft to be revisited.

Inside this Circle 

Blessings on her striped-shirts,
the mis-matched socks, polka-dotted
bras, denim jeans, too-short skirts.
Blessings on what her pockets

hold: hair-ties, chapsticks,
the fortune from a Chinese cookie.
My girl, swift and difficult,
inside this circle, bless and bless.


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