{p7 does pf: triolets}

Oakland Museum of California 105

Ay! November already. Here, have some colors of the season. This is from the gorgeous altar display at the Oakland Museum of California. Their combination of migration – the Monarchs – and the passing of life as commemorated and celebrated during the Dias de los Muertos – was among the more memorable and beautiful that I’ve seen. Well worth a trip.

At some point, this form will become easier. At some distant date, all we’ll need is to hear a form and, with a graceful flourish, we’ll pull out a pen and produce said form with grace.

That day is obviously not yet come, at least not for me.

Last attempted in 2015, the triolet remains the more problematic of the repeating forms for me. I think it’s the awkward rhyme scheme, which never gives me a feeling that the poetic statement is complete. Like a song which closes with an unresolved chord, I find myself… stopped, but not…finished. I’m never quite sure if I’ve yet said what I’ve meant to say – or if it was coherent. Nevertheless, I applied myself to this month’s task set by the lovely Liz, which was to use two autumnal words from a list comprised of orange, fall, chill, light, and change.

Autumn Colour

The poet warned us gravely ‘nothing gold can ever stay,’
Persimmon’s orange a honeyed warmth ephemeral as mist.
You’ll sooner find a treasure in a vacant alleyway,
The poet warned us, gravely. Nothing gold can ever stay
Bright. Tarnishing, the light fades into winterโ€™s shadowplay.
Drink down the days at autumn’s end on memory’s mailing list.
The poet warned us gravely ‘nothing gold can ever stay,’
Persimmon’s orange a honeyed warmth ephemeral as mist.

Oakland Museum of California 106

Technically, red is the more ephemeral color, but I just had to play with that… because orange is a hard word to include in a poem, since nothing rhymes with orange. I also like to play with using fourteen syllables occasionally.


White-hot, our spirits rising through the heat,
The flame renewed with passion’s fiery light,
Destroyed, we fall. We signal cold’s defeat,
White-hot. Our spirits rising. Through the heat
We radiate – our frantic dance complete –
Collapse as ash, with sated appetite.
White-hot, our spirits rising. Through the heat
The flame renews our passion. Firelight.

Now here, I was only writing about fire. I’m told Other Interpretations May Apply. *cough* I take no responsibility.

There’s more poetry on the horizon from Liz, Laura, early bird Kelly, and Tricia. Sara and Andi are still on busy lady walkabout, but may rejoin us presently. *waves*

Also, happy Books and Blogging Weekend to all those gathered in Hershey, PA for the 2017 Kidlitosphere Conference. Poetry Friday today is hosted at Teacher Dance. Sometimes, when you’re feeling blah, the Friday poetry round-up is just the thing. Read on for a little lift of your spirits.

12 Replies to “{p7 does pf: triolets}”

  1. I love your aspirational surety that some day these poems will get easy!!
    And Tanita, that second poem?? FIRE!
    I love that poem — I read it aloud — it’s a crazy good and kind of magical
    whirling dervish of a poem.

  2. Tanita, I think it’s so funny that it feels unresolved to you. Triolets feel extra resolved to me, because of those first two lines circling back and closing out the poem. Though I definitely know what you mean about the different number of rhyming words for each sound feeling a little unbalanced, and that could feel unfinished. These are so beautiful– winter shadowplay and memory’s mailing list and so many other phrases…And “Combustion” of course is smoking hot! Maybe you don’t find them easy to write, but they feel like they just slipped off your fingertips like silk gloves.

  3. Poetry Princess Fridays are my favorite Poetry Fridays of all!

    There are probably official Poetry Terms to use for what you did with your repeating lines, but I’ll say it plain: I like that you didn’t simply repeat them. You used the same words, but made them new with different punctuation and different enjambment. I’m in awe.

  4. I’m glad that “other interpretations may apply”. When I read other’s poems, I get very caught up in my imagination, tell myself the ‘under’ or ‘hidden’ story. Your first poem feels like a sarcastic reply to someone, like we should know that ‘nothing gold can stay’, we Pollyannas. As to the other, it feels always about passion, but whose? I enjoyed them very much, and after reading everyone’s am inspired to try. You’ve all made it look easy, though I’m sure it’s not. Thanks!

    1. @Linda: Those of us who were English majors are always interpreting between the lines – so glad that you found traces of snark and passion here — which makes me smile, because I don’t think I consciously was feeling those things, but they definitely show up in the poems!

  5. Your second poem gave me hot flashes (ahem). I love its passion and spirit.
    And the first poem? I’m in awe that you can actually write 14 syllable lines that work so beautifully. And I love the homage to Frost.
    Both of these are terrific.

    1. @Tricia: Thanks! Last time we did these, Kelly got really excited about the fourteen syllable line — and I hadn’t realized that those were rare, so tried to do one again. It IS harder than necessary for it not to sound stilted, though!

  6. Oh, love the beautiful display. Shock of color!

    Enjoyed your triolets — “Other Interpretations May Apply”? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Ahem, well, yes, try to convince us you were writing about “only” fire. Of course we believe you . . . *cough*

    Love “winter’s shadowplay.” Just the other day our neighbor gave us a bunch of persimmons. Perfect timing!

    1. @Jama-jams: Hey, now, I PLEAD THE FIFTH. Although when I read it aloud to Tech Boy to prove my innocence, he laughed until he wheezed. I was a bit chagrined. So, FINE, I wrote a slightly racy poem. Without trying. Not sure if this makes me the queen of sexy or dopey. (My vote is with dopey.)

      I wish I could smuggle you out West for a visit. The museum is amazing – and I love it ’cause it has plenty of benches for those of us who need a sit between exhibits.

      1. On second thought, it wasn’t *that* hot. I only had to put on my industrial strength flame retardant suit and alert the Fire Department before rereading the poem. Since you claim it was unintentionally racy, I would really like to see an intentionally racy one. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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