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Hello. This is Frank Hubeny. The form today is the tanaga that comes from the Tagalog language in the Philippines. This form recently caught my eye in Bekkie Sanchez’s one stanza Tanaga #31018.  Since we haven’t done this form, I thought it might be worth a try.

The tanaga form is part of an oral tradition going back to the early 16th century.  It comes in stanzas of four lines with seven syllables per line. It often rhymes, even rhyming each line of a stanza on the same rhyme sound, but it can have variable rhyme patterns. It can also have more than one stanza.

Here’s an example of an English poem written by Jane Taylor and published in Rhymes for the Nursery in 1806.  I suspect most of us know this as part of our English oral tradition. Taylor was likely not trying to write a tanaga, but the form of her poem matches the tanaga form.

Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.

So, the tanaga is not unfamiliar to English speakers although we might call it by a different name, perhaps some kind of “common meter”.

While looking for examples of tanaga what I found most characteristic about the form is that it has four lines per stanza with seven syllables per line. There is some flexibility. Because of this flexibility, I will leave the constraints open.  For this challenge write something that you feel could be called a tanaga or a variation on the tanaga form.  Use the tanaga as inspiration for how you construct your poem.

To participate, write a tanaga or variation on your blog. Copy the link to your post and paste it into the Mister Linky below. Read the tanagas others have linked and come chat with me, if you so choose, below. Also if you have a favorite, classic tanaga poem, I would be interested in reading it.  The Mister Linky will be open for two days.