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Vardhaku: Earth

by Cendrine Marrouat 23 days ago in how to
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The first sunset after a winter freeze

Vardhaku: Earth
Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

In a recent post, I mentioned the Promptly Written publication, as well as its writing challenges on Medium.

At the beginning of this year, Christine Graves, a member of the PW editorial team, asked us to write poems inspired by the following concept: "The first sunset after a winter freeze."

A wonderful prompt, don't you think? It was perfect for a vardhaku.


Bare trees

salute early new light;

the distance between shadows grows relentlessly,

releasing the trapped mistiness of bleak bygone days —

earth’s handwriting lives between land and sky too.

©2022 Cendrine Marrouat

What Is the Vardhaku?

The Vardhaku is a poetry form I co-invented with linguist and short story writer Justin Smith in 2021, as an invitation to reflect on one’s personal growth.

The Vardhaku is a portmanteau word consisting of the following elements:

  • “vardha”, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘the act of increasing, giving increase or prosperity; augmenting; gladdening’ or ‘cutting, dividing’ (Source: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary)
  • “ku”, as in ‘haiku’

The Vardhaku is an expanding five-line poem divided into two parts: The first four lines describe a problem or situation, with the fifth line offering a positive / inspirational resolution. Title and punctuation are optional.

Using a combination of syllables and words, the Vardhaku mainly focuses on conciseness to deliver an impactful message to the reader. It must be composed in one of the following formats:

  • 1, 3, 5, 7 words (lines 1–4) / 10 syllables (line 5)
  • 1, 3, 5, 7 syllables (lines 1–4) / 10 words (line 5)
  • 2, 4, 6, 8 words (lines 1–4) / 11 syllables (line 5)
  • 2, 4, 6, 8 syllables (lines 1–4) / 11 words (line 5)

That's it for today!

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About the author

Cendrine Marrouat

Artist⎜Multi-genre Author⎜Co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms / PoArtMo⎜(Co-)creator: flashku / kindku / pareiku / reminigram / sixku / vardhaku⎜Podcaster

Website: https://creativeramblings.com

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (4)

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  • Babs Iverson7 days ago


  • Julie Lacksonen7 days ago

    I enjoy the minimalist, increasing nature of your co-created structure. Plus, this poem is lovely!

  • Tiffany Gordon 7 days ago

    Brilliantly & Beautifully Constructed!

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