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Kural (poetic form)

The Kural is one of the most important forms of classical Tamil language poetry. It is a very short poetic form, exactly in 2 lines, the first line consisting of 4 words and the second line consisting of 3. It should also conform to the grammar for Venpa, the most difficult and the most highly esteemed of stanzaic structures of classical Tamil literature. Kural is one of the five types of Venpa stanza. The Tirukkuṛaḷ, one of the greatest philosophical works in Tamil language by Tiruvalluvar, is a typical example of this type of poetic form.

The structural properties of the Kural Venpa are given below:[1]

a) Only feet of three or two metrical units may be employed.
b) The stanza must always end in a foot of the following type: —, =, —‿, =‿.
c) Strict rules of consonance of lines must be observed (so-called ventotas).
d) The number of feet is seven, the number of lines two—the first line contains four feet, the second three feet.

The metric structure of the Kural Venpa is given below:

— = — / — = / — — / = = —
— = — / — — / =

Here is an example of the Kural form of poetry:

Pleasure, rhythm, power, surprise
Rhyme's glorious conquistadors


  1. ^ Kamil Zvelebil (1973). The smile of Murugan: On Tamil literature of South India. BRILL. pp. 156–171. ISBN 978-90-04-03591-1. Retrieved 11 December 2010.

Further reading

  • Tiruvaḷḷuvar, & Sundaram, P. S. (1991). The Kural. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books. ISBN

External links