Dec 10, 2009

Tritina Verse Form

The Tritina is a form of very recent vintage invented by poet Marie Ponsot. Essentially, it’s an abbreviated Sestina: instead of 6 six-line stanzas plus a three-line envoi we have 3 three-line-stanzas plus a one-line envoi. This makes it not only more reader friendly, but more writer friendly as well. :-)

Being modelled from the Sestina, there is no rhyme scheme, instead it comprises of three stanzas using the same three words in a Sestina like pattern, and a final line which uses the three words in the starting sequence:

The lines are grouped into three tercets and a concluding line. Thus a Tritina has 10 lines.

Lines may be of any length. Their length is usually consistent in a single poem.

The three words that end each of the lines of the first stanza are repeated in a different order at the end of lines in each of the subsequent two stanzas. This kind of recurrent pattern is "lexical repetition".

The repeated words are unrhymed.

The first line of each tercet after the first ends with the same word as the one that ended the last line of the tercet before it.

In the closing line, each of the three words are used.

The pattern of word-repetition is as follows, where the words that end the lines of the first tercet are represented by the numbers "1 2 3":

1 2 3 - End words of lines in first tercet.
3 1 2 - End words of lines in second tercet.
2 3 1 - End words of lines in third tercet.
(1 2 3) - Words contained in the final line.

I actually enjoyed this form so much I wrote two examples. The first is supposed to be funny, although I don’t find being without my lap top funny at all. And the second is a more serious example.

Ode to My Lap Top

I’m going quietly insane.
I’ve a problem with my lap top
and I need to get it fixed.

Why’s it not yet fixed?
The wait’s making me insane.
I’m lost without my lap top.

My life is on my lap top.
I need to get it fixed
or else I’ll go insane.

My insane lap top’s still not fixed!

Fantasy Writer

My hero is the stuff of dreams
a contrast to my villain’s dark.
I write romantic fantasy.

I weave a web of fantasy;
I see a future, in my dreams,
a shield against encroaching dark.

I yearn, sometimes to seize the dark,
at least within my fantasy,
but truly, only in my dreams.

Dreams filled with dark fantasy.


Jamie D. said...

Poor that your laptop is still out. At least it was good for some inspiration though.

This is an interesting form - rather staccato, I think. I may like the sestina better, actually.

Although your Fantasy Writer is darkly compelling...

C R Ward said...

I have to admit I agree with you on this form. While it's much easier to write, it doesn't read as well. I think what bugs me about it is the single line at the end- it throws the whole rhythm off.