Triversen: Poetic Form

The triversen is a loose form of sentence-long tercets developed by William Carlos Williams (or "The Red Wheelbarrow" and Paterson fame). Here are the rules and examples.
Author:
Publish date:

I found references to the triversen this week in both online and print resources. It's a fun poetic form developed by William Carlos Williams (one of my favorite poets--able to write both the concise, "The Red Wheelbarrow," and the epic, Paterson). I like this form because of its flexibility.

Here are the triversen rules:

  • Each stanza equals one sentence.
  • Each sentence/stanza breaks into 3 lines (each line is a separate phrase in the sentence).
  • There is a variable foot of 2-4 beats per line.
  • The poem as a whole should add up to 18 lines (or 6 stanzas).

*****

The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

*****

Here's my attempt at a triversen:

"today we buried mom"

today we buried mom
& 1,000 red-winged blackbirds
found a branch in our backyard.

the shadow of a deer
was spotted on a snowdrift,
wind sneaking into our house.

everyone knows everyone
dies & then we're faced
with how to handle the body.

in her favorite dress
we buried mom with some lilies
& a john wayne poster.

i've been trying to forget
the last time we talked
but here i am alone with you.

1,000 blackbirds hold the trees
before loosening their grip
to disappear in the sun.

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

Author Amanda Jayatissa discusses the fun of writing "deliciously mean" characters in her psychological thriller, My Sweet Girl.

3 Tips for Writing a Memoir Everyone Wants to Read

3 Tips for Writing a Memoir Everyone Wants to Read

A memoir is an open window into another's life—and although the truth is of paramount importance, so too is grabbing hold of its reader. Writer Tasha Keeble offers 3 tips for writing a memoir everyone will want to read.

Zoe Whittall: On Personal Change in Literary Fiction

Zoe Whittall: On Personal Change in Literary Fiction

Bestselling and Giller Prize-shortlisted author Zoe Whittal discusses the complexity of big life decisions in her new novel, The Spectacular.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 582

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a transition poem.

4 Myths About Writing Animal Characters

4 Myths About Writing Animal Characters

Author Codi Schneider debunks four myths about writing animal characters, including that audiences won't connect with animal characters and that they're only for children's books.

Voyager

Voyager

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character is a modern day voyager.

Stephanie Marie Thornton: One How an Entire Rewrite Added Suspense

Stephanie Marie Thornton: On How an Entire Rewrite Added Suspense

USA Today bestselling author discusses how rewriting a portion of her new historical fiction novel, A Most Clever Girl, added suspense.

Creativity Is Making Small Choices

Creativity Is Making Small Choices

When struggling to work through a creative dilemma, it's best to think of your work in small pieces that create a larger whole. Author Perttu Pölönen explains how creativity is a collection of small choices from an abundance of options.

Zibby Books Market Spotlight

Zibby Books: Market Spotlight

For this market spotlight, we look at Zibby Books, a brand new book publisher (just announced earlier today) that wants to introduce a new model with book champions and ambassadors to the publishing and promotion process.