Writing Style: Triolet

What is a triolet? A triolet is a poetry writing style where the rhyming scheme of the eight line poem is repetitive. The basic structure for a triolet is where the first line is line A, the second line is B, the third line ends with a (which rhymes with A), the fourth line is line A (repeated), the fifth line ends with a, the sixth line  is b (that rhymes with B), the seventh line ends with line A and finally the eighth line is line B. To sum,  the eight lines consist of two rhymes, the first line repeats at the fourth and seventh line, and the second line repeats at the eighth line. In short, the triolet pattern is a little something like this ABaAabAB. What originated from the French, the triolet came into play during the thirteenth century, or middle ages.  Triolets were first written in the forms of prayers by monks. Personally, I think triolets are an interesting type of poem; the repetition in them strengthens the ultimate meaning and concept of the poem. Both the repetition and rhyming used generates tenderness to the ear. Similar to the ringing of bells, triolets also have a harmonic impact on the reader that definitely adds to the message that is trying to be conveyed through the poem. An example of a triolet is a poem titled “Valentine” by Wendy Cope that goes like this:

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.

It is easy to spot that this poem follows the structure for a triolet. As I mentioned above, the recitation of this poem is an example of how triolets have a synchronized rhythm that sounds great to the ear!










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