Monday, August 08, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Tritina

I have been grappling with the sestina as of late. My attempts have been less than successful, so I've decided to step back and try a simpler form, the tritina.

Helen Frost has a number of worksheets on poetic form on her web site. She suggests starting with the tritina since the sestina is a more difficult form. What a great idea! Here are the nuts and bolts of the form.

10-line poem made of three, 3-line stanzas and a 1-line envoi

There is no rhyme scheme but rather an end word scheme. It is:




A, B, and C (all in the last line/envoi)
So, your challenge is to write a tritina. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week. Have fun!


  1. Ocean

    I used to live very close to the ocean.
    It was only a ten-minute drive to the beach.
    Sometimes, at work, I thought of breakers and sand.

    Now my plane arcs over the sand
    to cut out a semi-circle of ocean,
    before heading east, away from the beach.

    We fly far, leaving the breathing beach.
    We dive over mountains, landing in desert sand.
    A million years ago this place was ocean.

    I've lost the ocean. I want to sit on the beach, watching waves come in to the sand like planes.

    --Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved

  2. Stars, Skies, Bowl
    By Steven Withrow

    I ate the stars
    and now the sky’s
    an empty bowl.

    I broke the bowl
    and now the stars
    I ate are skies

    themselves. A sky’s
    a broken bowl
    of swallowed stars.

    My stars are hollowed skies, a fallow bowl.

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved