Burmese Climbing Rhyme

I’ve been exploring different forms of poetry for a book I’m working on, and I’m having such a great time.  Some people, I think, see form as something they have to squash their ideas into.  For me, though, form is more like a ladder to throw down to your poem.  Sometimes your idea may fall off, but often it will climb up to an entirely different place than where it started.

Which is why I’d like to share the Burmese Climbing Rhyme, or Than Bauk, a form that’s been especially challenging and fun for me (and that fits nicely into my simile since it rhymes in steps like a ladder.)  It consists of four syllable, also adapted to four word, lines with an inward-shifting rhyme scheme.  The format looks like this:

x x x a
x x a x
x a x b
x x b x
x b x c
x x c x
x c x x

You can read more about Than Bauk here.

This morning, I decided to try my hand at one in tribute of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Enjoy, and if you feel inspired to try writing your own, please share in the comments – I’d love to read them!

To Dr. King,

words were things that

could sing our souls.

His words rolled stones,

touched goals as high

as dreams fly.  Speak.

Don’t die silent.

dr-king-landing-page-3

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4 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Writing Technique and Prompts

4 responses to “Burmese Climbing Rhyme

  1. This was fun and I learned something new! I enjoyed your poem — very fitting today. It took me a few minutes to figure it out. I read the site you mentioned and got an even better idea of Than Bauk and inward rhyming.

  2. Rachel

    Yay! I really like this – and especially appreciated your commentary on poems as I’ve always seen them as very limiting. I liked the ladder analogy 🙂

    • Thanks, Rachel! It’s true, they can be limiting, but I also often think of entirely new ideas in order to rhyme or fit the meter, and sometimes I like them even better than the original. 🙂

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