2012-08-03

Passion For Poetry

Triolet

The triolet is a French form that goes back to the Middle Ages. Was originally a short, witty poem that was perfect to include as a gift with a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. It was also originally broken up into three stanzas, hence the name triolet, which means "little trio" in French. The earliest English triolets were prayers written in the 17th century by Patrick Carey, a Benedictine monk.

Today's triolet is a single, eight line stanza with only two rhymes used throughout. Of these eight lines, the first line is used three times and the second line is used twice. This makes it a little easier than it seems at first glance - instead of coming up with eight lines you only need five.

It may seem like a somewhat restrictive form, but the repetition and rhyme sounds can create some very powerful imagery.

Schematic:

A - line one
B - line two
a - Rhymes with 1st line.
A - Identical to 1st line.
a - Rhymes with 1st line.
b - Rhymes with 2nd line.
A - Identical to 1st line.
B - Identical to 2nd line.

Once you get the hang of it, you may not want to stop writing them. Like me:


TRUTH
I look into your eyes
and you show me the truth
but can this be wise?
I look into your eyes
and search for the lies
though you’ve given me proof.
I look into your eyes
and you show me the truth.

* ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *

LOVE
A love must be pure to live for forever
such as the one between you and I,
a love incorrupt that nothing can sever
a love must be pure to live for forever,
a goal to be sought, life’s greatest endeavor
a challenge to pass, the gods to defy.
A love must be pure to live for forever
such as the one between you and I.


For some other examples, click on one of these links:

Triolet by Sandra McPherson
How Great My Grief by Thomas Hardy
Valentine by Wendy Cope
Triolets by Sara Teasdale

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