peneira poroso

The peneira poroso or queda de pétalas is a poetic form common to the Malayan peninsula. Its origins are disputed but most agree that it originated among the Eurasian communities of peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Structure
  • Variations
  • Examples


Few examples of the ancient peneira poroso survive, but most familiar with its usage point to its first origins being in the communities descended from Portugese and Asian marriages in the 18th and 19th century. It combines the precision of Western typography with the fragmentary, zen koan-like nature of the forms of the East. The peneira poroso is also known in certain circles as "queda de pétalas" for its unique falling-petal-like form. 

Modern blackout poetry as popularised by Austin Kleon has many common factors with the peneira poroso, but it is well established that both stem from unique and original traditions. Current exponents of the peneira poroso include the Singaporean poet Tse Hao Guang, who has been instrumental in reintroducing the form to modern attention.


In the peneira poroso, fragments of no longer than 7 words (the sete palavras clausal limit) are distributed across a page with uneven spacing. In its original form, the spacings were determined by the aesthetic "breaths" of the poet, just as masters of ink-brush painting are intimately conscious with the limits and possibilities of negative space.

Modern peneira poroso use the typographical functions of space and tab to serve as their spatial "breaths". Most modern peneira poroso adhere strictly to the length of one page.


With the advent of modern typography, the peneira poroso tabulação, which used the typewriter tabular, or tab, key, as a means of laying out the distinctive uneven spacings of the peneira poroso. Purists of the form tend to deride the peneira poroso tabulação as producing very predictable and even spacings, as opposed to the original peneira poroso, which is now also known as the peneira poroso livre by distinction from the peneira poroso tabulação.


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