Triolet–an easy way to write 8 lines of poetry

Today, we’re going to look at the triolet (TREE-o-LAY), which has 13th century French roots linked to the rondeau or “round” poem. For over a year now, I’ve been trying to find a way to use the repetitive line heard so often in airport terminals: “The moving sidewalk is about to end.”

The triolet is perfect for this kind of repetition, because the first line of the poem is used 3 times and the second line is used twice. If you do the math on this 8-line poem, you’ll realize there are only 3 other lines to write: 2 of those lines rhyme with the first line, the other rhymes with the second line.

A diagram of the triolet would look like this:

A (first line)
B (second line)
a (rhymes with first line)
A (repeat first line)
a (rhymes with first line)
b (rhymes with second line)
A (repeat first line)
B (repeat second line)

So for the construction of my triolet, I already had my first line: “The moving sidewalk is about to end.” So after some quick thinking I decided to make my second line: and I’m not sure where to go. Pretty good (and true), since I usually don’t know where to go in airports. At this point, my poem looked like this:

A “The moving sidewalk is about to end”
B and I’m not sure where to go
a
A “The moving sidewalk is about to end”
a
b
A “The moving sidewalk is about to end”
B and I’m not sure where to go

With more than half the poem already down, it was a simple matter of brainstorming some rhymes and crafting some lines that fit the airport situation. Then, of course, I had to think of a title. This is the end result:

“Terminal Triolet”

“The moving sidewalk is about to end,”
and I’m not sure where to go
to meet my long distance girlfriend.
“The moving sidewalk is about to end,”
repeats the disembodied voice again
as the conveyor conveys me slow.
“The moving sidewalk is about to end,”
and I’m not sure where to go.

*****

For some more on the triolet, check out the following links:

*****

Check out other Poetic Forms.

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5 thoughts on “Triolet–an easy way to write 8 lines of poetry

  1. reyvrex

    Triolet#3: “Like Clearest Skies That Are So Blue”

    Like clearest skies that are so blue,
    Is how I would recall your eyes,
    Which deeply I have gazed into,
    So clear as skies that are so blue;

    I can see that your love is true,
    That nary once, your stare denies,
    Like clearest skies that are so blue,
    As how I, would recall your eyes.

  2. reyvrex

    Triolet#2: “I Could Tell”

    I could tell if it will be rain,
    A power you must have to see,
    Look at my face, look at the pain,
    I could tell if it will be rain;

    As you are leaving me again,
    I will be like a leafless tree,
    I could tell if it will be rain,
    A power you must have to see.

  3. reyvrex

    Triolet#1: “Why Should I”

    Tell me why should I lose your love,
    When it is all that I now own?
    As sent by Heaven from above,
    Tell me why should I lose your love?

    You are so true and meek like dove,
    The only love that I have known,
    Tell me why should I lose your love,
    When it is all that I now own?

  4. reyvrex

    Triolet#4: “Like Petal’s Softest Touch”

    Like petals’ softest touch,
    Felt deep down in my soul,
    Breezes caress as much,
    Like petals’ softest touch;

    Your lips likewise did such,
    With kisses that I stole,
    Like petals’ softest touch,
    Felt deep down in my soul.

  5. Iris Deurmyer

    This is a good example. I was not familiar with triolet and I think it would be fun to try it one day in our 2009 April PAD. Thanks for all you teach us.

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