Be Kind

I’ve decided to write a poem on health and diabetes for each of the 84 early Medieval Irish forms given in Gerard Murphy’s book, ‘Early Irish Metrics.’ If you’re interested in trying to write one yourself, see below for the rules of today’s poem. 

Be Kind

Be kind. Too quickly we accuse

our hearts, ourselves, impose pain.

Blind, ashamed, confused, we excuse

self harm as certain, see stains

as lasting when they wash away

like waves. Absolve yourself. Wind

down, let go, watch a doorway

open. The world waits. Be kind.

by K. Fionn Murphy, © 2021

Ancient Irish Poetic Form: Sétnad mór *


Form: 82 71 82 71 **

Rhyme scheme: A B A B 

Dúnad: First word, phrase, or full line (considered best) is repeated at the end of the poem. 

Úaim: Alliteration where possible.


Cráebrúad Chonchobair meic Cathbad

Clár día cingtis curiad cath,

is mó éirned réimned ratha 

asa téiged macha i-mach

* Meaning (perhaps): great treasure poetry. 

** 8 syllables 1st and 3rd line, ending in 2 syllable word, 7 syllables 2nd and 4th line, ending in 1 syllable word.

Source: Early Irish Metrics, by Gerard Murphy