B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond – Tanaga – June 20, 2015

Vincent Van Gogh.  Red Vineyard at Arles, 1888.  3D Adaption: Tumblr
Vincent Van Gogh. Red Vineyard at Arles, 1888. 3D Adaption: Tumblr

Hello everyone!  This is Paloma, greeting you from B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond.

For this week you have the choice of writing a shadorma (a non-rhyming six-line poem in 3/5/3/3/7/5), or a “Tanaga“.

The Tanaga is a Filipino poem.  It consists of four lines with seven syllables each; the rhyme scheme is AABB.

Traditional tanagas don’t have titles and are composed in the Tagalog language.  Most have been handed down through oral history and contain proverbs and moral lessons. (Similar to the tanaga is the ambahan, which has an indefinite length.)

Modern Tanaga

The tanaga has been in danger of becoming a dying art form. The Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Commission of the Arts have been trying to revive it. Several groups have been promoting the form in English.

The form is beginning to change slightly – not only are tanagas appearing in more frequently in English, they are picking up titles and varying their rhyme forms (for example, AABB, ABBB, ABAB, ABBA, AAAB, BAAA, ABCD, etc).

Here is an example in ABBB:

This longing, a double door
split by splintered memories.
Grief and time set boundaries –
I have earned my miseries.

Paloma (2014)

The peaceful river reflects
fruitful banks the grass protects
and where trees their strength renew:
may I reflect new life, too!

Paloma (2014/2015)

Feel free to write a shadorma and/or tanaga.  The choice is yours! When you have written your poem(s), please TAG them B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Then add your link to the Mister Linky widget below.

Good luck!


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