The following description and example are reposted with permission from Poetry Magnum Opus, with thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on that fine resource.

The Totok is a verse form in 4 unrhymed lines of anapestic tetrameter. I found this form in only one source although I was able to find that the word “Totok” refers to Cantonese immigrants that come to Thailand and tend to retain their Chinese language and customs.  The elements of the Totok are:

  1. a poem in 4 lines.
  2. accentual syllabic, anapestic tetrameter. uuS uuS uuS uuS
  3. unrhymed.


    A tick ticking of earth’s endless seasonal clock,
    though our Winter stayed late, Spring began without fanfare,
    silent sprouts broke the surface of frost covered ground
    slipping Spring forth with showers and flowers and light.
                                                 ~~ Judi Van Gorder

My Example

Form: Totok

Thinking Ahead

As the weather gets cooler and nights start to chill
and the holiday seasons promote our good cheer
and we wave to our neighbors out raking the leaves
we are thinking ahead to next summer’s warm days.

© Lawrencealot – February 2, 2015

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