Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Monday, October 6, 2014

Writing Exercise - The Burns Stanza

by Ashley Lister

When it comes to raw sex appeal, it’s difficult to think of a country sexier than Scotland. Famous for muscular males, proficient in caber tossing and kilt-wearing; equally famed for feisty flame-haired females, Scotland has been the home of raunchy romance since the earliest days of print.  

Scotland is also blessed with a proud poetic heritage which gives us this month’s writing exercise. The Burns stanza is named after Scotland's national poet Robert Burns.

The form did exist before Burns made it his own in the form of the Standart Habbie. It’s also known as the Scottish stanza or, sometimes, simply the six-line stave. Personally, I’m happy calling it a Burns stanza. This is my attempt at the form.

Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim'rous lassie, 
Blessed with a perfect, peach-shaped assie 
Your heels and stockings look so classy, 
Have a guess what’s on my mind
You know I’d love to mount your chassis
And take you rudely from behind

Stanzas have six lines rhyming aaabab. As always, I’d love to see your interpretations of this form in the comments box below. 


  1. Does each line have to have any particular meter or number of syllables, Ash?

    Otherwise, this is too easy... ;^) (Love yours!)

  2. Hi Lisabet,

    the lines with the A rhyme are longer than the B rhyme but this will vary on the rhythm of the poem you create :-)


  3. Aw, hen why de ye bovver
    puttin' on tha' sexy clobber
    you'se far more boony wi'out a stitch
    but I've no ken to see the bitch
    behind yous eyes and well, no wonder.
    To ye, ahm just another punter.

  4. Rachel - did I ever tell you that I thought this one was brilliant?


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