poetry

Baillieu 24-Hour Study Zone

11 September 2018

– an empat perkataan perempuan

notebook coffee fingers flicker
ballpoint scribble absent liquor
comrades vanish doonas beckon
steely focus headaches threaten
bleary weary Somnus blunder
muted murmur graveyard slumber
tendrils bramble rousing jerking
sunshine caffeine runners chirping
dawning horror sober sorrow
promise better effort morrow

 

The empat perkataan (Malay for “four words”) is a 15th century Southeast Asian poetic form, recently revived in Singapore. It is perempuan (“female”) when all rules are followed—four words in each line, with lines following a couplet or alternating rhyme scheme, and each word comprising two syllables.


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