{pf: the p7 try a triolet}

Ah, summer. Surprises around every corner… including the plum tree which has netted us a ten gallon bucket of plums so far and it’s still not finished bearing. And the apricots are coming ripe. As are the peaches… and the persimmons… and soon, the pomegranates… and the apples…

Did I kvetch about it being 103°F the day we moved? I stand by my whingeing, but apparently, the trees loved it. I’ll take the fruit and quit complaining now.

Our theme this month is HEAT, and our poetry challenge is the triolet – the deceptively simple form with which we’ve dabbled previously. As always, it’s one of the tougher repetitious poems for me – I feel like my timing is wonky or something – but this round, it was a bit easier. That may have been down to the discovery of a triolet generator. Having a little program keep track of your line repetitions can help you create sensible couplets (though I advise you copy to another document or don’t use the edit button; it erases the whole thing). Never feel like using any little aid is “cheating;” poetry is heart breathed into words – get your pages breathing any old way you can, bravehearts.

Sara’s gorgeous words breathe here. Here are Liz’s stunners, and Tricia’s beauties. Here are Rebecca’s radiant words, Kelly’s charmers, Laura’s lovelies, and Andi’s inspiration here. Hit that generator! Your words can breathe, too!

In the quest for one I halfway liked, I wrote a ton of triolets, but wanted to say something unique about the theme instead of “wah, wah, wah, it’s too hot,” which is the basic theme of all my summer discourse (not even kidding). Here I’ll share three which I thought spoke to the theme in the most interesting ways:

Vitally Vernal

My summer self is big and wild
Untamed, unbound: essential me
I’m barefoot, wander like a child
My summer self is big. And wild
I drift in whimsy, brain beguiled
By heated schemes I oversee
My summer self is big! How wild
Untamed, unbound, essential: me
Balboa Park 66

I am going to use the camping stove (aka the summer kitchen) for canning the plum preserves outside, but summer indoor cooking really brings on the heat, especially as I do as much as I can all at once to prevent turning on the range again…

Can I Give You A Taste?

Jammed tight with pots, our kitchen’s heat
Makes love – and meals – with hints of spice
Right in the flames – it’s hot and sweet
And jammed with pots. A kitchen’s heat
Welcomes each lover, saves a seat
For (piquant gossip) tasty bites –
Jammed tight with pots, a kitchen’s heat
Makes love – and meals – with hints of spice
Skyway Drive 318

Sara reminded us that triolets were often devotional, so I gave it a shot, playing with a traditional Christian imagery of God as artisan metalworker. I also tried for fourteen syllables to give myself some room.


“refined by fire” vital furnace; breathe, o breath of god
be cleansed within the crucible, heart clarified by heat.
For this I prayed. Now mettle, tested, twists – a lightning rod
“refined in fire” vital furnace breathes. o breath of god
I, unalloyed, am brittle, wracked with weaknesses and flawed,
But cast and molded, forged by passion’s art, I’m made complete
refiner’s fiery, vital furnace blasts its breath – o god
come clean. within the crucible there’s clarity in heat

Netherlands 2018 419

Poetry Friday is hosted at the blog of that very, very, very busy professor, writer, and math-admirer Miss Rumphius. We’re lucky to have you, Tricia dear – happy writing retreat.

10 Replies to “{pf: the p7 try a triolet}”

  1. My summer self is big and wild, and fortified with iced tea. You’ve shown the barefoot wonder of it, despite the heat, and I do love that first poem. I do love summer! You have me wishing for more fruit trees; what a bounty you have and a poem to celebrate. Thanks for the lessons in what you know about triolets, the generator, and the various approaches despite the expectations.

  2. Thank you for the triolet generator. That will definitely help me get started. But your poems — the way you slightly alter those repeated lines with internal punctuation or changing up the order or verb tense — your poems will be my mentors. Thank you for YOU…wild, spicy, forged by art’s passion YOU!

  3. Good heavens, what bounty–and to know you’re STILL NOT FINISHED BEARING? I adore triolets for their feel of litany and all of these are lovely, the way you adjust the repeated lines to create new meanings–but my favorite is that first one.

    Where did you move that is 103 and full of stone fruit? I hope it’s the south of France…

  4. I adore the phrase “my summer self is big and wild” and want to stomp around chanting that while peach juice drips down my chin. And I love your spice and love filled kitchen one….I DO love to cook (when I have time) and that poem captures the why. And then you prayerfully top us off with a deep poem about being refined by the heat of life… You overflow with juicy words this month, Tanita….must be the same thing that got into your trees….

  5. For someone who struggles with this particular form, ohmygoodness, Tanita! These are divine and that first one — it reminds me of Phenomenal Woman! I LOVE IT!!

  6. Wow–these are amazing, Tanita. And you wrote more?! I especially love your first one. I’m struggling to find my wild summer self. I just want to curl up in front of a fan. Appropriate that I stuck with whinging about it being too damn hot. Glad you challenged yourself to go further afield! I also love your cooking poem, which made me *almost* want to do something creative in a kitchen. Also, this: “poetry is heart breathed into words – get your pages breathing any old way you can, bravehearts.” Lovelovelove

    1. @Laura: TRUST me that I’m struggling too – but pushing myself outside my comfort zone is helping. And necessity is the mother of creativity – I HAVE TO do something with all of this fruit! Can’t waste it, nor the summer bounty, so am trying to remind myself to drink it down…

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