Comparative Description of Meters in Thai and Burmese Poetries

  • Ivan Sarkisov
Keywords: Thai poetry, Burmese poetry, meters, syllabic poetry, syllabic-metric poetry, rhyme, verse, Thai language, Burmese language, Southeast-Asian languages


The article analyzes and classifies the meters used in Thai and Burmese poetry. Though both poetic traditions have a rich literary heritage and an advanced repertoire of poetic meters, their structural properties have not received significant scholarly attention. Along with summarizing preexisting scholarly research on the subject, the article provides description of meters used in traditional Thai poetry and their typological classification. The analysis of meters in Burmese poetry is based on the 18th century long drama “Maniket” by Padethayaza as well as on a collection of short Burmese classical poems. The article describes and classifies the five meters of Thai classical poetry (klon, chan, khlong, kap and rai). Burmese traditional poetry used one or two syllabic meters as well as other meters, which have not yet been classified in the scholarly literature. The article concludes with a comparative analysis of rhyme in Thai and Burmese poetry.


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