Showing posts with label chau pai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chau pai. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Are Poetic Meters In Hindu Poetry And Literature?


Indian poetry has well-developed metrical forms that primarily follow two patterns.

The first metric is based on the number of syllables in a single line.

Each line in the second pattern has a specific number of metric beats, which is determined by the distinction between "heavy" and "light" syllables.

A heavy syllable is any syllable with a long vowel or a consonant cluster and is given two metric beats; all other syllables are considered light and counted as one beat.

Sanskrit poetry tends to stress the former pattern, and has codified meters ranging from four to twenty-six syllables per half-line, yet even within these syllabic constraints each meter usually has a prescribed sequence of light and heavy syllables as well.

Two different Sanskrit poetic meters may thus have the same number of syllables, but vary in their syllabic patterns.

Although such subtle differences could generate vast numbers of meters, in practice there were only about a hundred.

The vast majority of Sanskrit texts are written in a single meter, the anushtubh, which has eight syllables per half-line.

Later devotional (bhakti) poetry, particularly in northern India, tend to favor poetic forms based on the number of metric beats.

The most popular forms are the doha, which has twenty-four metric beats in two lines, and the chau pai, which has four lines of sixteen beats each.

Although there are several poetic forms based on the number of syllables in each line, particularly the savaiya and the kavitt, these were used less often.

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