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I. The Vedas : Anistubh

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Indian Poetry

The Vedas, an Overview

Anistubh, (Sun God, originating from the veins of Prajāpati) the first of the Vedic chandas or meters is a stanzaic form in ordinary epic meter. The verse is often a chanted mantra.

The defining features of the Anistubh are:

  1. stanzaic. The stanza or chanda is written in 4 lines or padas
  2. syllabic, a total of 32 syllables, the line are 8 syllables each.
  3. irregular. The anistubh has an irregular cadence, caesura and alternating trochaic and iambic meter contribute.

    Note: Because of language differences and the lack of consensus in describing a consistent, specific metric pattern, in English it is probably best to create one's own "irregular" pattern, taking care to mix it up and not fall into a predictable iambic or trochaic pattern don't forget the value of caesura to help break up the rhythm.

    from the Rig Veda to Sürya (sun god) 1500 B.C. Norton Anthology World Literature Volume A, translated by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty

    We have come up out of darkness,
    seeing the higher light around us,
    going to the sun, the god
    among gods, the highest light.

    The Sun by Judi Van Gorder

    My heart is grateful, filled with song
    raised to heaven upon the tracks
    of the sun's rays. I choose to live
    in the warming light of the Son.

    anustubh by Jan Haag

    Other Veda verse forms

    II. Sanskrit Verse

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