Sunday, 13 May 2012

Poetic Forms - Triolet

Part x in a very occasional series of poetic forms. The Triolet.

a poem or stanza of eight lines in which the first line is repeated as the fourth and seventh and the second line as the eighth with a rhyme scheme of ABaAabAB

Got that?

Here's one of mine (actually the only one I'll own to)

She Stoops to Conker

My daughter and I in the woods gathered
holly and cones for a winter display.
The locals tattled tales; I overheard
my daughter and I in the woods gathered
scarlet toadstools,  moth wings, eye of blackbird -
a much better tale this eve than to say,
my daughter and I in the woods gathered
holly and cones for a winter display.

So  "My daughter and I in the woods gathered" appears in lines 1, 4 and 7.
"holly and cones for a winter display." appears in lines 2 and 8.
and lines 1,3,4,5 and 7 rhyme as do 2,6 and 8.

So the lines must bear repeating. Ideally the line must have a slightly different meaning or feeling when you hear them again.You can mess around with the punctuation, if that helps and some poets may even mess with the prepostitions, but that's not very hard core.

The origin is supposed to be French medieval poetry but it's not uncommon now.

It looks so simple and yet it's a tricky one to master. It has been used cleverly for some horror poems as the simple, lyrical form and the repetitions can make scary stuff seem more menacing.

You can have a look at a triolet by Wendy Cope here, with some brilliant rhymes and another here.

It is a close cousin to other strict rhyming forms with repetition, such as the Rondeau, Villenelle and Pantoum. I may cover these in a later post in this very occasional series, but I'm not promising anything!


Michael Farry said...

Yours is much better than Wendy's!!

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks Michael. I'm a huge fan on Wendy

Totalfeckineejit said...

Triolet? Oh, that's SO close!

Emerging Writer said...

Triolet close to a villanelle? why yes. Triolet close to TFE, depends if you prnounce the final T, doesn't it?

Totalfeckineejit said...

I was thinking of the spelling rather than the lah-de-dah pronounciation.