2 more to go…and the A-Z Challenge is in the bag!

The ya-du is a Burmese poetic form. Here are the guidelines (taken from Writer’s Digest):

  • Quintains (or five-line stanzas).
  • Four syllables in the first four lines.
  • The final line has either five, seven, nine, or 11 syllables.
  • The fourth syllable of the first line rhymes with the third syllable of the second line and the second syllable of the third line.
  • The fourth syllable of the third line rhymes with the third syllable of the fourth line and the second syllable of the fifth line.
  • The fourth syllable of the fourth line rhymes with the final syllable of the final line.
  • Subject usually deals with seasons.
  • Most ya-du are written in three or fewer stanzas.

Here’s a way to visualize the structure/rhymes (with a 5-syllable final line):

xxxa (4 syllables)
xxax (4 syllables)
xaxb (4 syllables)
xxbc (4 syllabes)
xbxxc (5, 7, 9. or 11 syllables)

Oh, good god, here we go… (this was the ONLY poetic form I could find for “Y” – I’m not actually an intellectual masochist).


Snow-silent, the land
softens; plans go.
Your hand in mine…
the world shines cold:
my name hangs on your tongue like a snowflake…bold.

So …like I do…I enjoy using a form to build a poem’s skeleton, and then I can change it up to create the poem I actually want. Here’s what this piece could be come, without rules now:


Snow-silent, the land softens
and our plans shift.
Your hand in mine,
the world shining cold,
my name hangs on your tongue,
like a bold snowflake.
Today is the day.
The diamond-sparkle in your eyes
matches the sun-glint
on the growing mounds
of white around us…
and despite the air,
I am burning inside.


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