Triolet Tuesday

A Triolet
By Banjo Paterson

Of all the sickly forms of verse,
Commend me to the triolet.
It makes bad writers somewhat worse:
Of all the sickly forms of verse,
That fall beneath a reader’s curse,
It is the feeblest jingle yet.
Of all the sickly forms of verse,
Commend me to the triolet.

Whilst waiting for the inevitable editing notes from a certain agent, I bopped over to AbsoluteWrite’s http://absolutewrite.com/ poetry forum; more specifically, the “The Triolet Trail” thread, because anything is better than waiting for edits. Right?

Ever try writing a %$#&^*@# triolet?

I know, I know. It shouldn’t be that hard. Eight lines–the first, fourth, and seventh lines repeat, as do the second and eighth. Rhyme follows an AB pattern like so: ABaAabAB, with cap letters representing repeated lines.

But it took this writer an embarrassingly long time to get the structure of a triolet square in my head and even now, I check my work two, three, ten times to make absolutely certain I did it right. The original poster of the thread on Aye-Dub added a twist: each poet must begin his/her triolet with the last line from the preceding triolet.

Easy enough. Hell, your first line is basically a free-bee, except some poets are cruel and heartless people who pen nearly impossible last lines. I speak of myself, of course. I swear I don’t do it on purpose, and I freely admit to using the term ‘poet’ with obvious abandon.

Truth is, read a few pages from that thread and you’ll come to the same conclusion I did, almost from the word go: some writers on AW are Really. Fucking. TALENTED. I’m excusing myself from that particular group. I am not worthy, but I do like the challenge. I don’t know how the other posters feel about writing this kind of poem but I find it kind of cathartic, especially on nights like this one, when I’m trying to think about anything but the edits that are going to come hurtling at me in less than twelve flipping hours–

I digress. But when one is teettering somewhere between Joy and Panic, with her entire literary life on the line, it’s kind of nice to take her mind to another place. And if the stars align, she might just pen something decent and so, in honor of my very first “Triolet Tuesday,” which I just now made up because I’m too dang tired to think of anything else 🙂 , here are five kk triolets to read at your leisure.

Or peril. 😉

Riches beyond the sum of our balance,
smearing our greed like a sexual salve,
blurring the limits of ethics and talents.
Riches beyond the sum of our balance,
selling ourselves is longer a dalliance;
anything to amass more than we have:
riches beyond the sum of our balance;
smearing our greed like a sexual salve.

*  *  *

Well hidden from those who nod and smile,
our better selves clutch wounded hearts,
and pocket dreams. Not yet defiled,
well hidden from those who nod and smile,
whilst from their lips, a bitter bile
dissolves all hope from tender parts~
well hidden from those who nod and smile,
our better selves clutch wounded hearts.

*  *  *

Through deaf-still and slant-shadowed trees,
a man stood in the wood, beguiled.
A wood sprite, all elbows and knees
through deaf-still and slant-shadowed trees,
prancy-danced with the crickets and bees,
and the man once again was a child.
Through deaf-still and slant-shadowed trees,
a man stood in the wood, beguiled.

*  *  *

O’er barren wasteland, still and bleak,
the winds of war stir desert sands.
Cruel harbinger of death, bespeak
o’er barren wasteland, still and bleak.
Behold the terrorist mystique:
Death held aloft in trembling hands
o’er barren wasteland, still and bleak.
The winds of war stir desert sands.

*  *  *

The bleak black-fjord fissure men
shoulder it all, on the head of a pin.
Stoically bearing their tasks without end,
the bleak black-fjord fissure men
offer forgiveness, again and again,
finding the good and forgiving the sin.
The bleak black-fjord fissure men.
Shoulder it all, on the head of a pin.

Fin. ❤

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2 thoughts on “Triolet Tuesday

  1. I’m not much for poetry writing. Reading, I’ve been selectively pleased with a variety. I’ve never tried to write a Triolet (and probably won’t start now….). I do like yours! And yeah, some of those AW people knock your socks off 😉

    I DID try to write a Sestina, back in college, because they were mentioned in the Sandman comic books and I thought it was cool. That didn’t work out so much either.

    • I looked up ‘Sestina’. Yikes! Nothing ventured, though. I don’t consider myself a poet by any stretch, but I do enjoy the occasional triolet, especially when accompanied by a nice Zinfandel.

      Bottle, I mean.

      Straw optional. 🙂

      Thank’s for popping over, Jen. I’m glad you enjoyed my little poems, such that they are.

      ❤ kk

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