Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

The conachlann is a simple bardic form of chain verse. The last word of one line, starts as the first word of the next line. You have a bit of slight leeway, as you will see in the examples. This is a medieval Irish poetic form.

Amergin's invocation of Ireland is a very famous conachlann.

Ailim iath n-erend
Ermac muir motach
Motach sliab sreatach
Sreatach coill ciotach
Ciotach ab eascach
Easach loc lindmar
Lindmar tor tiopra
Tiopra tuath aenach
Aenach righ teamra
Teamair tor tuatach
Tuata mac milead
Mile long libearn
Libearn ard Ere
Ere ard diclass
Eber dond digbas
Diceadal ro gaet
Ro gaet ban breissi
Breissi ban buaich
[Be nadbail heriu]
Herimon or tus [hir]
hir Eber ailseas
Ailim iath n-erend

(The poem translated, translator was unattributed on the web)

I invoke the land of Eire:  
much coursed by the fertile sea.  
Fertile is the fruit-strewn mountain  
fruit strewn by the showery wood showery is the river of waterfalls  
of waterfalls by the lake of deep pools deep is the hill-top well  
a well of tribes is the assembly  
an assembly of the kings is Tara  
Tara of the hill of the tribes  
the tribes of the sons of Mil  
of Mil of the ships -  
Like a lofty ship is the land of Eire  
lofty land of Eire darkly sung  
dark Eber’s incantation  
an incantation of great cunning  
the great cunning of the wives of Bres  
the wives of Bres of Buaigne  
but the great Eire -  
Eremon has conquered her.  
I, Amairgen, have invoked for her.  
I invoke the land of Eire.

Here is a modern example of a conachlann that I pulled from a Celtic poetry forum.

Conachlonn Anam: A Prayer by Ben

Only because of the Tuatha De Dannan do I draw breath
From first breath to last breath
Breath of spirit
Spirit that gives Life
Sustainer of Life, she who is the Land
Land of shining mountains
Mountains of my birth
Birth of song
Song churning in my blood
My blood the Land
The Land of Elder Gods
The Elder Gods giving my breath
Only because of the Tuatha De Dannan do I draw breath
A medieval Irish poetic form.

Write-up by
Add a Comment:
poetry-of-hate Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2004
It looks fairly challenging,i think i'll give it a shot.
Angsty poetry and medieval poetic forms...this will be fun :mwahaha:
curiosity Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004
I've noticed in both your examples that the first two lines don't follow the first-next bit. Do they rhyme with each other, at the end, instead? Also, is it mandatory that the first line and the last line are the same?
poetic-forms Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2004   Writer
Nothing I've researched has stated that the first and last line must be the same, though many I've seen have been that way, I don't think it's a hard and fast rule. Nor do I think it's a hard and fast rule that the last word must be the very first word of the next line. One reason that it's not so on the first poem is that it's a translation, but there is a lot of leeway in this form, it's such an old form, and the emphasis was on the rhythm, and the bardic quality of it as well as how it was put together. The same words need to be at the end of the lines, and beginning of the next, but not necessarily at the very beginning if that makes sense. It's a little known form, there's not too much information on it, I think we have a lot of room to make it our own.

Can't wait to see what people do!
curiosity Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2004
Works for me! Thanks for your reply. Party-time, everyone!
chaian Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2004
it's harder than it looks :(
darkcrescendo Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
This reminds me to go back through my notes on the Irish use of metre and device in their medieval gaelic poetry.

An interesting form - but one fraught with the danger of banality if the repetition is done poorly.

gid Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2004
i haven't heard of this poetic form before, even though i've seen poems of that style. looks interesting to do.
TheFlawedOne Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
Oh my gosh! That looks hard!! Very different.
Add a Comment:

:iconpoetic-forms: More from poetic-forms

Featured in Collections

Writing Tips N Tutorials by Leopold002

Helpful Guides by LitterBugs

Poetry Guides by CRLiterature

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
September 3, 2004
File Size
2.7 KB


6 (who?)