The séadna, pronounced "shay-na," is a complex Irish quatrain. It alternates an 8-syllable line ending in a disyllabic word with a 7-syllable line ending in monosyllablic word. Lines two and four must rhyme, and the last word of line three must rhyme with the stressed word before the last word in line four. The second couplet must contain one cross-rhyme, and preferably two.

Every line must contain alliteration. The final syllable of line one alliterates with the first word of line two. The final word of line four must alliterate with the preceding stressed word.

A Séadna

Trochees troop along in tandem,
Marching strong till tempo's set.
Séadna's form demands attention
Till the norm convention's met.

[ back to poetry page ]