With such rich culture and history spanning through all the yugas (ages of the world), with myriad languages, variation in landscape from sea to desert and lush jungle; India is our next stop and the Naani or Naneelu Teluga poem. India is no waltz, but a tango through the senses; from the smell of temple incense and jasmine to spice markets or mumbai traffic!

Naani, or Naneelu, poems are a contemporary poetic form introduced in 2002 by eminent Indian poet and literary professor Dr N. Gopi in his book Naeelu.

“Naneelu belong to you and to me – ‘na’ and ‘nee’ mean in Telugu ‘my’ and ‘your’ respectively, and the end ‘lu’ indicative of the plural number of the poems – in short, they belong to all of us.”

Consisting of 4 lines, the total lines consists of a minimum of 20, and maxium of 25, syllables.

Whilst not bound by theme, the poem should complete itself, in that the meaning cannot be conveyed by either the first two lines or the second two lines individually. The poem reaches completion, only when both parts are united in thought.

example 1. © Phoenix Rises Poetry
You have to dig deep
in the earth for answers
to why the roots don’t hold
the soil together anymore

example 2. © Phoenix Rises Poetry
letting the crown sink
to the ocean floor
heavy with expectations
she was free to float to her dreams

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