The following description is reposted with permission from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on that fine resource.
Tho Bay Chu or Seven Word Poetry [Vietnamese] is written with seemingly more flexible tonal pattern than most Viet verse with the exception of when an end word is flat, the 3rd word must be sharp and when the end word is sharp, the 3rd word in the line must be flat. The elements of the Tho Bay Chu are:
- stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
- measured by number of words, 7 words per line.
- rhymed, tonal rhyme appears to be at the discretion of the poet except if and end word is flat, the 3rd word of the line must be sharp or if the end word is sharp, the 3rd word of the line must be flat. End rhyme aaxa bbxb etc. or xaxa xbxb etc.
Note: I cannot begin to write one of these, because the concepts of a tonal flat or sharp is not within my grasp, even though I can find audio samples on Wikipedia.