Saturday, December 9, 2017

Fussy Little Forms: Than Bauk

Happy weekend, Toads! Today let’s try the Burmese form called THAN BAUK. It’s a truly little form--smaller than even haiku at 12 syllables--and far fussier because of a strict rhyme scheme. Fun!

The than bauk form is a three-line poem with four syllables each, featuring rhymes in kind of a step pattern like this:
        x x x R
        x x R x
        x R x x

One could chain together several to make a longer poem, 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

The fun thing about than bauk is that such a short rhyming form allows for a witty expression or epigram. Sharpen your wits!

Here is my attempt at a chained than bauk poem from a couple years back. Not very witty, but maybe expressive:

“She Wishes By the Seashore”

            echoes unwise
            undone alone
            unknown pinkest
            surges cresting
            not best but most


Wikipedia entry for than bauk poems

Poets Garret article with examples

Fun examples at All Poetry website

Let’s have some fun with the short and sweet. Feel free to link one or many verses if the fussy spirit moves you. Enjoy!



  1. Loved the prompt, Marian!๐Ÿ’ž Been practicing all day long, sharing my poem 'Within This Heart Of Mine.' Happy Weekend, everyone!๐Ÿ’ž

  2. I think I wrote one a few years back... this one is like laying puzzle.

  3. I couldn't figure out whether I wrote this earlier one to a prompt, or how I learned about the form. I'm going to try writing something witty, we'll see!

  4. Wow, Marian! This is a tricky challenge. I've only just seen it at 7.30 in the morning, and I'm ready to try it. It might take me a while...

  5. Too much like ha...hi....I'm not doing this, my condition has kicked in. :-P

  6. Kinda fun, Marian. Thanks for the intro. I.have an error and am portable, i.e. will cage it later. "Fold" should have been "folk" or "folks". Probably the first.

  7. Thank you Marian. This is a nice form but fun and challenging to write right. I had it wrong when I first posted.

  8. Tricky, yes ... could not let this go without a corrected rhyme version!

  9. Really interesting form, thanks for sharing!


Much time and effort went into this post! Your feedback is appreciated.