nucleus poem

The nucleus poem নিউক্লিয়াস কবিতা is a form of poetry that mimics the structure of an atom.
It was invented in 2015  by Singapore-based Bangladeshi poet Syedur Rahman Liton. In his words, it is “an epoch-making poem of present world, prepared in a special model”. 
Initially used to create poetry in Bengali, it was rapidly embraced by a diverse range of poets in the migrant worker and volunteer community. Examples now exist in English, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia and Tamil.



A nucleus poem consists of four lines. The number of syllables in each line corresponds to the number of electrons in each sublevel of the electron shell.
  • The first line contains 2 syllables.
  • The second line contains 8 syllables.
  • The third line contains 18 syllables.
  • The fourth line contains anywhere from 1 to 32 syllables.


Nucleus Poem 1, by Syedur Rahman Liton (original and English translation)
Fie! Fie!
Those who are failed to operate democracy
Made blood machine, are shown shame
I want relief of blood.

Nucleus Poem 2, by Syedur Rahman Liton (original and English translation)
Dreamland islander
You sweetsmiler in sudden movement,
Came in my lie, you Cobra.

Words, by Sean Cham

They dance. 
Words that roll off his very tongue,
Words I will never understand, words though that speak volumes, that resonate;
I understood him

Rahman Liton, Syedur. Nucleus Poetry. Dhaka: Goti Prokashoni, 2016.


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