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II. Sanskrit Forms - Mandakranta

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Indian Poetry
Sanskrit Verse

Mandakranta (lady slowly approaching) is referred to as a "slow stepper" and is said to employ erotic mysticism. This Sanskrit stanzaic form is often a poem of love, sexual pleasure and spirituality.

‘O God, the lord of this world, the shining one.
I recall with my mind the feet of Ramacandra.
like the crescent of the risen moon.
You (clouds) are filled with water;
they (buildings) have bejeweled floors.
You are at lofty heights; they kiss the skies.


The defining features of the Mandakranta are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
  2. metric, all lines strictly carry the same heavy and light metric pattern which is established by the first line (this is language specific). In English, it is easier to simply consider the verse syllabic, 17 syllables per line. One source suggested a syllable count of 17-16-17-17
  3. unrhymed which seems to to be the most popular concensus.
  4. composed with caesura, which appears twice, once after the 4th syllable and again after the 9th or 10th syllable.

    Runway by Judi Van Gorder

    She leads with her hips, neck stretched, feet flip forward in deliberate strides,
    heavily lashed eyes stare without settling on any one target,
    couture clings softly to her curves, the whisper of fluid fabric sighs
    content to caress her body, culminating a designer's dream.

Other Sanskrit Forms

Regional Forms:III.Bengali, IV.Hindi, V.Kashmiri, VI.Marathi and VII.Teluga

Sanskrit Meters by Ashwini S Deo Yale University

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