Writing Exercise – The Burns Stanza

by | October 6, 2014 | Writing Exercise | 5 comments

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. 

Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

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

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

  2. Ashley Lister

    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. Rachel Green

    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. Ashley Lister

    Rachel – did I ever tell you that I thought this one was brilliant?

    • Rachel Green

      Thank you kindly 🙂

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt



Pin It on Pinterest