Manchu Metrical Schemes

So far I have identified the following metrical schemes in Manchu:

-style schemes

Name

Metrical Scheme

Rhyme Scheme

Black-Naped Oriole
黃鶯兒

5,3,3,7,5,5,7,3,4—5


A,x,A,A,A,A,A,A,x—A


Matching Jade Bracelet
Prelude to Clear River
对玉環帶清江引

4,5,4,5,5,5,4,5,4,5,7,5,5,5,7



A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A



Wind in the Pines
風入松

7,5,7,7,6,6-7,5,7,7,6,6


A,A,x,A,x,A. A,A,x,A,x,A


The Feeling of the Way
道情詞

3,3,3,3-7,7,7,7-3,4,3,4A,A,x,A-A,x,A,A-x,x,x,A

Couplet schemes

Couplet poems are divided between fixed-length schemes and symmetrical couplet poems. The fixed-length schemes are those in which each line in the poem has four, five or seven syllables, while the symmetrical couplet poems are governed by the rule that the two lines of a couplet must have the same number of syllables, but that may be a different number from the other couplets in the poem.

So far, couplet poems that I have seen always have a rhyme scheme of x,A repeated for the duration of the poem, with a high likelihood that the first couplet is A,A.

Quatrain schemes

The basic stanza of a Manchu quatrain poem consists of four lines, usually of seven syllables each, with a rhyme scheme of A,A,x,A. I haven’t touched much on Sibe poetry in this blog, but some Sibe poems (like Hašigar ucun) are also organized into quatrains, but with head-rhyme schemes that usually fall into A,A,A,A or A,A,B,B.

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