1. The form is a single quatrain.
2. The rhyme scheme is a,b,a,b. This does not need to be perfect rhyme.
3. It has a fixed rhythm that it is recited to and as a result the line lengths are fixed between 8 and 12 syllables.
4. Often there is a seeming discontinuity between the first two lines and the second two lines. However on closer examination there is a linkage either in thought or the assonance of the verses.
5. There is usually a lot of allusion to either symbols, proverbs or places that would mean alot to Malay readers.