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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


There are not many verse forms whose names begin with the letter A.  The abhanga is a Marathi form, Marathi being one of the major languages of India. It is the official language of Maharashtra, and is also spoken in several neighbouring states in the west of the country, including Goa and Karnataka. 
The form is simply described: four lines, with syllable counts of 6, 6, 6, 4, and lines 2 and 3 rhyming.

Thanks to Bob Newman for this wonderful resource.

Abhanga, "the completion" is a stanzaic form commonly used for devotional poetic composition although it has also been used for cynicism, satire and reflective moods. It was popular from the 13th thru 17th centuries Marathi Region of India and is described as complex and classic.

The Abhanga is:
  • stanzaic, written in any number of 4 line stanzas.
  • syllabic, 6-6-6-4 syllables each
  • rhymed L2 and L3 rhyme. Often internal rhyme is employed. End rhyme scheme x a a x , x being unrhymed.

Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for this wonderful resource.

Example Poem

Nurturer     (Abhanga)        

When life it brought into         
our world with woman's pain         
before the child's refrain         
sends it away…         

the nurturing begins         
with boys and girls, and yes,         
with men we must confess.         
The woman builds.         

When this small fact is found         
to be untrue, then what?        
Then you've defined a slut,         
female, that's all.         

The care and love rendered         
describe a woman's ilk.         
Their touch is soft as silk         
but strong as glue.         

As aging wrinkles up         
my face, I'm satisfied         
a woman's by my side         
and she has cared.         

© Lawrencealot - November 26, 2013        

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