Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Triolet of the Worm - 23/30

Welcome back for another day of poetry!

With today's entry, we are officially in the last week of NaPoWriMo. Anyone else feeling like this month only just started and now we're almost done? I suppose that's not a new feeling though...

Anyway, today's poem came prompted by NaPoWriMo again.
And now our (as always, optional) prompt. Today, let’s try writing triolets. A triolet is an eight-line poem. All the lines are in iambic tetramenter (for a total of eight syllables per line), and the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines. This means that the poem begins and ends with the same couplet. Beyond this, there is a tight rhyme scheme (helped along by the repetition of lines) — ABaAabAB.
Here’s an example by Thomas Hardy:

Birds at Winter

Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly! – faster
Shutting indoors the crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The Flakes fly faster
And all the berries now are gone!

Triolets were in vogue among the Victorians — all those repetitions can add a sort of melancholy gravitas to a poem, but watch out! They can also make the poem sound oddly gong-like. A playful, satirical poem, on the other hand, can be easily written in the triolet form, especially if you can find a way to make the non-repeating lines slightly change the meaning of the repeated ones. Here’s an example of a modern, humorous triolet, by Wendy Cope:


My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you.
Whatever you’ve got lined up,
My heart has made its mind up
And if you can’t be signed up
This year, next year will do.
My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you.
Happy writing!
This was a fun exercise. I am pretty sure I had never tried my hand at a triolet before, so it was a fun style to undertake. For my first attempt, I'm pretty satisfied with the outcome (even if it is considerably darker than I intended today's poem to be). Oh well, truth is truth.

Triolet of the Worm

Muddy crawl the worms of man
with gullets full of soiled thought,
chewing plans from worms with hands
muddy, "Crawl thee, worms of man!
There is no God whose judgement can
desire more than thou were taught.
Muddy, crawl thee!, worms of man…"
…with gullets full of soiled thought.

1 comment:

  1. Good Lord, Rodney... That is rather dark. I prefer to think of my thoughts as slightly messy. Very well done, though.