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Bertha Rogers: When Winter — Lục bát

When winter takes on fall

She beats downs leaves; they all turn brown,

And humans look up, frown.

When once-green leaves have flown away

We hear woodland ghosts bay

All through the night, through day’s wan light.

We eagerly await the sight 

Of those orange-brown creatures, white with snow— 

They live on edge, they know

That they will stay, we’ll go away.


Ed. Note: Lục bát is a traditional Vietnamese verse form. “Lục bát” means “six eight,” referring to the alternating lines of six and eight syllables. The poem always begins with a six-syllable line and ends with an eight-syllable one. Unlike other verse forms which are traditionally enjoyed only by high-class Vietnamese, lục bát is traditionally composed and enjoyed by people of all classes, from the lowly peasants to the noble princes. The rich treasure of Vietnamese folk poems (ca dao), which consists of hundred thousands of verses that reflect on life, morality, human relationships, and natural beauty, is almost entirely composed in lục bát form.

Poem copyright 2020 Bertha Rogers

Winter leaf (source: Pixabay open source)

2 comments on “Bertha Rogers: When Winter — Lục bát

  1. loranneke
    December 21, 2020

    A form I didn’t know existed–and a perfect example of this form! Lovely!

    Like

  2. jfrobb
    December 21, 2020

    I liked the poem. Then liked it even more after reading Ed, note. Great that they are paired. Very interesting information – especially that this type of folk poetry speaks to full range of ‘classes’. Not just the more formally educated end of the continuum. A great way to start my day.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 21, 2020 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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