Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus

Burma: Than bauk / Ya Du


Recommended Posts

Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Southeast Asian Verse      Map of Burma 2.jpg

Burma, now Myanmar or the Republic of Myanmar is a country bordered by China, Laos, India, Bangladesh and Thailand and yet 1/3 of its perimeter is the coast line of the Andaman Sea.  Myanmar is a country of serene beauty marred by genocide and government land grabs.  Its literary history dates back to 1310 with verse cut into stone. This was a record of the achievements of kings and other royalty and religious writings all in verse. There also are preserved palm leaf poems that date back to 1455 which is more emotional and less formal than the stone writings.  
thL1QM49H6   Pagota.jpg

  • The Than bauk features "climbing rhyme" which is common in many Southeast Asian poetic patterns, such as the Viet, Luc-bat. It is meant to be a humorous, witty proverb or saying, an epigram. This form is a Burmese pattern found on the internet at Bob Newman's site.  The elements of the Than bauk are:
    1. syllabic, 4 syllables per line.
    2. a tristich, a poem in 3 lines; this is not meant to be stanzaic, the brevity is part of the charm.
    3. composed with "climbing rhyme", the rhyme appears in the 4th syllable of L1, the 3rd syllable of L2, and the 2nd syllable of L3.
    4. Often clever, a short epigram.



      To wish I flew
      is no new news
      to you who do.
                        --- jvg
  • The Ya-Du or ritú (season) is a stanzaic form dedicated to the seasons. The theme should express the emotions the seasons evoke. Initially no set structure was assigned to the Ya-Du which was a seasonal thematic genre inherited from Thailand during the Thai occupation of Burma in the 14th century.  After Burma gained back its independence in the 15th century, the structure or form developed a pattern using a climbing rhyme.  The elements of the Ya-Du are:
    1. stanzaic, written in no more than 3 cinquains. 
    2. syllabic. L1-L4 tetrasyllabic (4) and L5 may be 5,7, 9, or 11 syllables. 4-4-4-4-(5,7,9, or 11)
    3. rhymed. The form employs a climbing rhyme in which the 4th syllable of L1 rhymes with the 3rd syllable of L2 and the 2nd syllable of L3. L4 and L5 end rhyme.
    4. dedicated to the seasons and the emotions they evoke.
      x x x a
      x x a x
      x a x b
      x x b c
      x b x x c            or               x bx x x x c etc

      Fall Back by Judi Van Gorder                                       Coming Home and A New Norm    by Judi Van Gorder

      Indian summer
      a warmer fall
      winter detained
      cold restrained to
      ordain seasons tipped askew.

      Sandals on sand
      balmy and calm
      a grand compass
      to bypass haze, 
      surpass nature's praise.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

Than Bauk in 2018

To hone your skill
try a drill. Write
and fill a page

Too many spills
create bills, woes.
Tests wills of men.

The harvest moon
croons a tune low.
Too soon the day

Thanks for the read
filling a need new.
A seed is sown.
~~ Judi Van Gorder

Added 3-9-20

Step Rhyme

A paradigm,
in steps rhyming
sounds climb downward
chiming "Than Bauk".

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Coming Home

Fun sunny days
now give way to
cool haze, brown leaves.
Harvest weaves charms,
conceives grace in autumn's arms.
                  ~~ Judi Van Gorder

A New Norm

Killing season,
no reason why,
listen and see
nobody safe
or free from threat, no relief.

In church or school
its not cool but
the rule of hate
takes the bait and 
we wait for the gunman to stand. 

So when the gun
fires on fun, it
has won again.
We cry sin, we
can't win. Action is what we need. 
               ~~Judi Van Gorder 11-18-2018

Rice Season in Burma
Water and land
assets standing
Myanmar's rice
harvests thrice each
year. Priceless seasonal reach.
             ~~Judi Van Gorder  8-5-19




~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.