New to Me Poetry – Than-Bauk: Finality

Done with life-time

when bells chime last,                                

the lime decays.

Body lays posed,

sight frays rosed-tint;

supposed glint, gone.

Like flint, the dark.

My attempt at a form I found at It is a Burmese form called a Than-Bauk. A Than-Bauk is similar to a haiku in that it (normally) has three lines. There are significant differences, however.

A Than-Bauk comprises three lines of four syllables each. Sounds easy, right? Well, how about if I tell you the fourth syllable of the first line is rhymed by the third syllable of the second line and the second syllable of the third line?

Line 1 – 4 syllables (last syllable is the rhyme scheme)

Line 2 – 4 syllables (third syllable rhymes Line 1 fourth syllable)

Line 3 – 4 syllables (second syllable rhymes Line 1 fourth syllable and Line 2 third syllable)

You can also chain verses together, as I have above. In my example, I have seven lines, all four syllables each, with three rhyme schemes.

1. time, chime, lime

2. posed, rosed (I cheated :D), supposed

3. tint, glint, flint

It breaks down like this:

Line 1 – fourth syllable (time)

Line 2 – third syllable (chime)

Line 3 – second syllable (lime) fourth syllable (-cays from decays)

Line 4 – third syllable (lays) fourth syllable (posed)

Line 5 – second syllable (frays) third syllable (rosed) fourth syllable (tint)

Line 6 – second syllable (-posed from supposed) third syllable (glint)

Line 7 – second syllable (flint)

According to Bob Newman, a Than-Bauk is traditionally supposed to be witty and epigrammatic. I don’t think I filled those requirements, but oh, well. I’m trying these forms for the first time, I make no claims at mastery 😉

Hopefully my explanation helps if you should decide to give this form a try and I hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn





4 thoughts on “New to Me Poetry – Than-Bauk: Finality

  1. Wow! This one sounds tricky.But, as always, you excel at even the tricky and new forms. Impressive. May have to try when the holiday headache wears off 😉

    • Thank you, C.C.! Hope the holiday headache is from fun and not stress 😉 This one took a while to come up with, even with it being so short! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

      • Don’t hold your breath! I’ve been playing around with this form and it is SO very difficult. Wow. Can’t seem to make it come together. Thanks for the challenge 🙂

  2. […] This is my first attempt at a form I first discovered thanks to the ever-inspiring J. Millburn over at […]

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