"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Hot Toddaid for the week that's in it

This week Grace O'Malley, over at Toads, continues her dissertation on all poetry forms Welsh by introducing us to the flexible and friendly Toddaid. I quote

A toddaid is a couplet of uneven length, often written in quatrain form. It has an interlaced rhyme like our other formats, but this time the rhyme is found in the middle of both lines! If the toddaid is extended into four lines, there is also an end rhyme formed by lines two and four. Line one is ten syllables and line two contains only nine. Here is one way to write it out:

And in quatrain form:


Grace gives an example, and says that the poet made the decision to use the interlacing rhyme at the end of lines one and three, joining the stanza into a true quatrain.

Good. That's what I've done in the one below. My apologies for boring the pants off you again with football but Ireland are playing a play-off against Estonia on Friday (away) and Tuesday (home) for a place in the Euro Championships. As we haven't qualified for anything for ten years, a nation is holding its breath...

In Estonia

Estonia – the name fills us with dread
and makes the path ahead stonier.
We leave, armed with scarf, voice, hope and rattle
to do battle in Estonia.

The chill of winter grips the barren land
Its hand chokes the fair begonia.
Will we too wilt on the frozen mire
or light a fire in Estonia?

Bony is the wolf, cloudy his thick breath
but death’s long fingers are bonier.
We must not flinch but grasp the flaming bough
that beckons now in Estonia.

How pleasant now seem the far-flung mountains
and fountains of Patagonia!
Easier to scale them all than begin
to hope to win in Estonia.

Timid and caution, get thee hence to bed –
faint heart is wed to pneumonia.
Our battle cry must make the pale moon glow
and strike a blow in Estonia.

FIFA’s sympathy last time was phony
but our baloney was phonier.
Let us hope that this time we’ll get it right
this Friday night in Estonia.


  1. Wonderfully fabulous and fabulously wonderful! I don't know much about European football, but I surely understand rivalries like this. I'm still a devoted follower of my alma mater, Michigan State University, and still can wax poetic over the years I was there (1963-1967, just a few years ago!). MSU was a football power with which to be seriously reckoned then. May your team beat the stuffing out of Estonia!

  2. Kudos on finding so many words to rhyme with Estonia!

  3. Phenomenal rhyming skill stitched into a totally valid poem. Great stuff, Peter.

  4. This is fabulous. Does FIFA need a poet laureate? Or does Ireland?

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  5. Good stuff. I don't have a horse in this race except for some ancestry, so go Ireland!