Saturday, October 15, 2011

Triolet: A Poem of Three or A Rare Form of Expression


A triolet (tree-o-lay) is an eight line, French poem from the 13th century. Medieval poets such as Jean Froissart and Eustace Deschamps nurtured this short and sweet poetic form. It is one of the rarer forms you'll find out in the world.
Triolet means "three" as in the first line repeats three times. There are also 2 rhymes and 2 repeating lines.

While most triolets are playful and cheerful, often celebrating love, I have taken a darker path with mine. I apparently have a gift for dark and broody, though, I'm no Sylvia Plath. And yes, I was also having a rough day.

Rhyming pattern

Line 1 repeats in the 1st, 4th, and 7th line.
Line 2 repeats in the 2nd and 8th line.

Lines 1, 3, 4, 5 have the same rhyme scheme, while lines 2, 6, 8 echo each other.

To add a twist to your own poem try,
1)   using a slant rhyme instead of a perfect rhyme. Slant rhymes echo similar sounds, such as “time and fine.” A perfect rhyme is well, perfect, like “fell and tell.”

2)   Varying some of the words in the repeating lines. For example, the line in my poem “treading a fine line” can be altered into “treading a silk line.”

This form is too short to stress about, so have fun!


treading a fine line
between saving myself or slaying my dream
faithless existence for wishes of mine
treading a fine line
over chasms of prayers waiting to align
a criss-cross of fingers over jagged seams
treading a fine line
between saving myself or slaying my dream


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