Than-bauk: Poetic Forms

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It's Friday! So let's keep the poetic forms flying with the than-bauk.

Than-bauk Poems

The than-bauk is a Burmese form with very simple rules:

  • Three lines
  • Four syllables per line
  • The final syllable of the first line rhymes with the third syllable of the second line and second syllable of the third line.

Here's a visual representation of rhyming and non-rhyming syllables for each line:

xxxa
xxax
xaxx

The poem is conventionally written as an epigram, so it's usually a clever or witty little poem.

I made a chain of than-bauks below that starts the pattern over in each stanza. However, I did find an interesting variation of linked than-bauk that begins a new descending rhyme at the end of the line that features the third rhyme. Click here to check it out.

Here's another visual representation of how this variation would work:

xxxa
xxax
xaxb
xxbx
xbxc
xxcx
xcxx

And so on...

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Here’s my attempt at a Than-bauk:

Nobody, by Robert Lee Brewer

Who heard her say
it's her way or
highway? No one.

Who took the task
to unmask her
and ask? No one.

Who tried to call
her on all ways
she stalled? No one.

Nobody tried
when they spied how
she lied. No one.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He's been enjoying hunting down and trying out all these forms. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.