Poetry Kaleidoscope: Guide to Poetry

Vietnamese - Luc Bat

Song Thất Lục Bát

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The Lục Bát is a Vietnamese verse form. "Luc Bat" literally means "six eight", referring to the alternating lines of six and eight syllables. It will always begin with a six-syllable line and end with an eight-syllable one.

The form has a rather complicated and yet simple rhyme scheme, in which the sixth syllable of the eight syllable line rhymes with the sixth syllable of the previous line, which in turn rhymes with the eighth syllable of the line preceding it. There is no limit to the number of lines, but the eighth syllable of the last line rhymes with the first line.

An example of the Luc Bat rhyme scheme ("-" is an unrhymed syllable):

-----A
-----A-B
-----B
-----B-C
-----C
-----C-D
-----D
-----D-E
-----E
-----E-A

Example

In Quốc ngữ script:

Trăm năm, trong cõi người ta,
Chữ tài, chữ mệnh, khéo là ghét nhau.
Trải qua một cuộc bể dâu,
Những điều trông thấy mà đau đớn lòng;
Lạ gì bỉ sắc, tư phong,
Trời xanh quen thói má hồng đánh ghen.
-Kim Vân Kiều by Nguyễn Du

References


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