The ya du, like the than bauk, is a Burmese poetry form which translates reasonably well into English. Lke the Vietnamese luc bat, it relies on counting syllables and an intricate rhyming pattern.

Each stanza, of which there should be no more than three, has five lines. The first four lines have four syllables each. The fifth line can have 5, 7, 9 or 11 syllables.

Sources disagree on the climbing rhyme scheme employed in the poem. Wikipedia (v1) argues that the fourth syllable of the first line, the third syllable of the second line and the second syllable of the third line should rhyme, while the fourth syllable of the third line, the third syllable of the fourth line and the second syllable of the fifth line should rhyme. However, other sources- and certainly the one I originally used- add to this that the last two lines should form a kind of rhyming couplet (v2).



Technically, a ya du should refer in some way to a season or seasons. I'll be editing that into the following example at some point. As it stands, it's a lovely exercise in climbing rhyme and a good way to flex the poetic muscles, if you're into that sort of thing.

driving down a tidal lake

a car door rides
through the tides of
surf; slides like flocks
of fish, rocks in
the chalky water tasting of tin.

the liquid knocks
at the locks: all
the clocks begin,
now, to spin, break
apart, in the motions of a snake.

a liquid pin
cracks through skin, pale
and thin from fake
gulps of lake-soaked
air: taking breaths, the leather seats are choked.

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