Welcome to Meeting the Bar. This is Frank Hubeny and the challenge for the next two days is to write a triolet or a poem that closely resembles a triolet. Gay Reiser Cannon wrote a prompt featuring the triolet some years back.  

So, what is a triolet? It has about the same number of words as a quadrille, but the word-count is not what matters. Looking at Wikipedia, a triolet’s characteristics are the following.

  1. The poem has 8 lines.
  2. The rhyme scheme is abaaabab.
  3. The meter is iambic tetrameter, that is, each line has four accented syllables with each accented syllable preceded by an unaccented syllable.
  4. The first, fourth and seventh lines repeat.
  5. The second and eighth lines repeat.

That means the same couplet starts and ends this short poem and the first line of the couplet is repeated a third time in the middle. There isn’t a lot of opportunity to say much with those constraints so the lines of that repeated couplet carry much of the message.

That doesn’t mean that everyone follows the rules and you may have learned different rules. Apparently there are triolets with 7 or 9 lines. Some triolets might not exactly repeat the lines since poets alter them to make the poem sound better. Some triolets aren’t in iambic tetrameter. I can even imagine triolets that have a different rhyme scheme or use slant rhyme.

Since poets writing in the past didn’t follow the rules exactly there is no need to do so today. However, if you want to follow these rules or others exactly that is fine as well.

To participate post a triolet or a poem that is almost a triolet on your blog, copy the link to your post and paste it in the Mister Linky below.  Check out what others have posted. The Mister Linky will accept entries for the next 48 hours. You may even leave a comment if so inclined.

I almost forgot. Leave a link on your blog post so others can find the prompt in case they would like to participate as well. All are welcome.