S.E Asia (Vietnam)

Song That Luc Bat

Like the Luc Bat the title of the form simply states the syllable count. Song That means (Double Seven), so as the title implies we have a poem of four lines the first two consisting of seven, the third of six and the fourth line having eight syllables.

In using these forms some liberty must be taken. Vietnamese is a monosyllabic language but a naturally rhyming one. The pure form uses an internal rhyming which would make the form almost impossible for the English writer and so a compromise has been made to make it more enjoyable.

The six and eight syllable lines have the same rhyming and rhythm structure as a normal Luc Bat poem. The seven syllable couplet has a different rhythm that places particular stress on the 3rd, 5th, and 7th syllables. For an English Song That Luc Bat, these three syllables should be stressed. Syllables 1, 2, 4, and 6 can be stressed or unstressed. The easiest way to do this in English may be by means of trochaic meter (e.g. "Tyger, tyger, burning bright" is a 7 syllable line with stress on the odd syllables).

In the example below you can see the seven syllable couplet and the standard Luc Bat rhyme scheme the last word of the last line in each stanza has been used to set the rhyme for the next lines couplet. There is no limit to the number of stanzas. It is suggested that this might make a good alternative for story telling.


Summer has now almost gone
I wake and wait for the dawn
hear the birds and their song
can there be any wrong with life.

The air is fresh, full of life
day has not begun its strife
lay back, relax again
before the day and strain begins.

Sun begins its daily round
the cacophony of sound
now invading my rest
rising, my day has best begun

Ryter Roethicle
I would like to thank Nguyen Van Tay for his assistance and suggestions with this article.

Any Comments or Suggestions, please email me

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