#TankaTuesday 2/8/22 #Poetry Challenge No. 260, #SpecificForm: Abhanga


The form is:


Here’s a quick review of form:

We write Abhanga in any number of 4-line stanzas with 6-6-6-4 syllables each. L2 and L3 rhyme. The end rhyme scheme is abbc. It is customary to title your poetry.

I illustrated one stanza below:

6 a 
6 b
6 b
4 c

Here is a double abhanga I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I highlighted the words that should rhyme:

"The Woman in Red"

deep inside her study
the young lady in red
weaves magic in her head
to pursue truth

the crystal ball foretells
the babe she carries low 
conceived by her old beau
her spouse will scorn

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Let’s learn about the Abhanga form.

Abhanga, “the completion” is a stanzaic form commonly used for devotional poetic composition although it has also been used for cynicism, satire and reflective moods. It was popular from the 13th thru 17th centuries Marathi Region of India and is described as complex and classic.

The abhanga is a Marathi form, Marathi being one of the major languages of India. It is the official language of Maharashtra, and is also spoken in several neighbouring states in the west of the country, including Goa and Karnataka. 


The abhang is an ‘uninterrupted’ devotional song.

Abhanga (Marathi: अभंग) is a form of devotional poetry sung in praise of the Hindu god Vitthal, also known as Vithoba. The word “abhang” comes from a for “non-” and bhang for “ending” or “interrupting”, in other words, a flawless, continuous process, in this case referring to a poem. By contrast, the devotional songs known as Bhajans focus on the inward journey. Abhangs are more exuberant expressions of the communitarian experience. Abhanga is considered a form of the ovi. Abhangs are sung during pilgrimage to the temples of Pandharpur, by the devotees.”


Here are some sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables:

Not sure how to write syllabic poetry?

READ THIS FIRST: How to craft Syllabic Poetry

Tanka Tuesday Cheat Sheet






Word Craft: Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry


  • Write your Abhanga, or a series of Abhanga poetry. Pay close attention to the rules on the cheat sheet. Remember, no “ing” ending words to satisfy the word count. I acknowledge there will be times when there isn’t a better choice of word.
  • Post it on your blog. Include a link back to the challenge in your post. (copy the URL: https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Copy your link into the Mr. Linky below the RED arrow. You might have to delete your previous entry.
  • Please click the small checkbox on Mr. Linky about data protection.
  • Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.

The screenshot below shows what Mr. Linky looks like inside. Add your name, and the URL of your post. Click the box about the privacy policy (It’s blue). As everyone adds their links to Mr. Linky, you can view the other submissions by clicking on the Mr. Linky link on the challenge post. All the links will show in the order of posting.


Follow the schedule listed below:

Now, have fun and write some ABHANGA poetry!

Published by Colleen M. Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft Poetry.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

71 thoughts on “#TankaTuesday 2/8/22 #Poetry Challenge No. 260, #SpecificForm: Abhanga

  1. Good research on the subject! It was Saint Tukaram who popularized this form of poetry. There are social media groups which focus on learning and singing these songs.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I enjoyed learning the background of Abhanga poems. I’ve got a busy week ahead of me, but I want to try my hand at this form. Hopefully, I can get it done before Sunday. Thanks for the challenge, Colleen! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, especially in Japanese poetry the capitalization rule in important. Many of the other forms are made up and you can probably get away with it. I know cinquain are not capitalized either. It is a nice distinction from free verse. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Greetings everyone. Another interesting challenge – what a fascinating choice Colleen. I did a “test” run with it and then just couldn’t let it go – so it’s my cheeky entry for this week … less “spiritual/devotional” more “urbane, mundane” – perhaps satirical?! But sometimes you just gotta laugh at things, in good spirit. I’m looking forward to reading later in the week, to see how everyone’s used this form. Cheers and glad tidings for happy poeming. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. it’s definitely whimsical – or has the option of being so … sometimes a little rhyming just makes the day 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          1. LOL – it’s an art, as much as a science – too much of anything can end being/sounding cliché or kitsch – but used wisely? a lovely enhancement …. and practice makes perfect 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  4. What an exciting form and I’ve noticed a couple of my participants have used the Abhanga form. Hopefully, I’ll have time to give it a try! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello, Colleen and everyone. So… this was a good challenge. It sent me places until finally, I had to come here and post it: a repurposed poem that was fun to fit into the form of the abhanga. I’m pleased with the way it ended. Thanks for having me. I will be reading when I wake up. Thanks for doing this. Stay warm. Sending you the sunshine that landed in my yard today. Stay warm. There’s enough for everyone. xoxo GN

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Colleen,
    Abhanga are so much fun to write!
    Thanks for the challenge 🙂
    Pingback @https://indishe.wordpress.com/2022/02/13/tankatuesday-2-8-22-poetry-challenge-no-260-specificform-abhanga/

    Liked by 1 person

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