I stumbled across this poetry form about three years ago. It was completely new to me and I imagine the same will be true for many of you (unless you followed the challenge in 2020). I love Indian food, so why not Indian poetry?
Naani is one of India’s most popular poetry forms. “Naani” basically means an “expression of one and all.” It was created by well-known Indian poet, Dr N. Gopi, the vice-chancellor to Telugu University.
There are only TWO rules to this poem –
It is FOUR lines long, no more, no less.
And when you count up ALL of the syllables in ALL four lines, there should be AT LEAST 20 syllables and NO MORE than 25 syllables for the ENTIRE 4-lines.
And there is no rhyming required but of course, you are free to rhyme whenever you wish. Either way . . .
Sounds easy enough, but accomplishing that may be harder than you think.
Although no subject matter requirements are suggested, from everything I read, Naani poems generally are about relationships, the current state of affairs, the human condition, and emotions. So, basically, you’re wide open here.
One more thing, the first line usually – but not always – states the subject of the poem. Therefore these poems do not have titles.
I highly suggest you use that handy, dandy free online syllable counter ~ all you have to do is plop your entire 4 line poem into the box, click the “Count Syllables” bar at the bottom of the box and it will count them for you ~ remember you are looking to have at least 20 but no more than 25 syllables per Naani poem. Cheers!!
So, here’s one I wrote during the pandemic:
Day in and out
I sit inside and wonder
Will things ever
Get back to normal
© Stephanie Abney 2020
Strive to be pleasant,
Make peace, rather than contention,
Change the world,
One kindness at a time.
© Stephanie Abney 2023
Artwork is by Stephanie Abney ©
PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright to them as soon as they create them and especially once they post them. Thanks so much!
*** Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog or elsewhere on social media ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or your FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO EACH DAY’S SPECIFIC BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work.