The Kloang is stanzaic verse usually of proverbs originating in Thailand. One source suggests the Kloang attempts to capture the rhythm of oar strokes on the water. A Thai landmark Phra Mondob (Scripture Hall) built in the 19th century is decorated with Thai Verse proverbs called Kloang Lokaniti engraved on the outer-walls . The form is considered poetry of the intellectual because of its complicated tonal and rhyme patterns. Along with the Raay, it is one of the oldest forms of Thai poetry. It was developed when the Thai language had only 3 tones, high, low and neutral, the language now has 5 tones. The tonal pattern of the Kloang creates a unique rhythm which is its defining feature and impossible to emulate in English.

Thailand’s honored poet Sunthorn Phy’s (1786-1855) most exciting adventure poem “Nirat Suphan” was written in the Kloang form.

The Kloang is:

  • syllabic. L1, L2, L3 are 7 syllables each, L4 is 9 syllables.
  • stanzaic, written with any number of quatrains.
  • composed with an interweaving or cross rhyme scheme. The end word of L1 rhymes with the 5th syllables of L2 and L3. The end word of L2 rhymes with the 5th syllable of L4. L3 and L4 end rhyme.
  • is most often a poem of nature.
  • tonal which is impossible in the English language.

x x x x a x b
x x x x b x a
x x x x b x c
x x x x a x x x c

Arctic Love —Judi Van Gorder

Gnarly feet trudge on the ice,
eighty miles entice a pawn
of nature, the price to mate,
four year cycle drawn up to create

Pasted from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My Example

Form: Kloang

East Coast Storm

In the east there’s snow and ice,
for some that’s not nice you know.
Driving now takes twice the time
and air traffic flow’s far from sublime.

© Lawrencealot – January 27, 2015

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