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Friday, November 22, 2013


The Than-Bauk is Burmese. It goes something like this:

A kind of verse
Some are worse than.
It’s terse, but rhymes.
Three lines, four syllables each. And the fourth, third and second syllables respectively all rhyme. It's even shorter than a haiku, but a lot more structured. Traditionally, than-bauks are supposed to be witty and epigrammatic.

Than Bauk

In view of the Haikus popularity in the West, it's surprising that the Than Bauk is not more popular. It consists of three lines of four syllables that should be witty. The nickname for this form of poetry, could be "Stairway", because of the rhyme steps through the poem. This is the basic rhyme scheme:

O. O. O. a
O. O. a. O
O. a. O. b
You can see from this that it forms a descending step, and at this point it can be terminated. You have twelve syllables to work with, and it could be very hard work. It could be much easier if a longer poem were made. If this is the case, then the practice is that the last syllable of the third line starts the next descent as shown below:

O. O. O. a
O. O. a. O
O. a. O. b
O. O. b. O
O. b. O. c
O. O. c. O
O. c. O. d. etc.

Example Poem

The  sun is bright
while moonlight is
seen night and day.

© Lawrencealot - November 22, 2013

Visual Template

Only Three lines are required, but if you wish to continue, the pattern follows.

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