Friday, May 06, 2016

Poetry Seven Write Tritinas

This month the Poetry Seven crew wrote in the form of the tritina. The tritina is composed of 3 tercets and a final line (envoi) that stands alone. Similar to a sestina, though shorter, it uses a set of 3 alternating end words instead of six. The form is: ABC / CAB / BCA / A, B, and C (final line/envoi).

The words we chose from were selected by Tanita. They were:
sweet, cold, stone, hope, mouth, thread

I think repeating words are hard, so this took some thought. However, it was the final line using all three words at once that proved to be the real challenge. I wrote two poems for this form. The first is a bit melancholy, but that always happens to me at this time of the year. My father’s birthday was yesterday (the 5th). He would have been 90 this year. And tomorrow (the 7th) is the 7th anniversary of his death, so he’s been much on my mind as of late. Therefore, the first poem is for/about him. The second is much lighter.

Without further ado, my tritinas.

Tritina #1 

My father pulled the hook from the mouth
of the bass. I touched its cold
scales, the thrill of catching it sweet.

Memories of my father are sweet,
though sometimes I imagine him, mouth
agape, my mother at his side touching his cold

hands. At the end, the world went cold.
There was nothing sweet
in death. My heart and mouth

slammed shut. Now I fish alone--no dad, no largemouth--just cold, sweet stillness.

Tritina #2

Speed Dating Introduction ... A 30-Second Tritina

I relish the smoothness of a stone
worn by water, the sweet
smell of freshly mown grass, the cold

slide of ice cream down my throat. I long for winter cold,
summer sun, the skipping of a stone
across the lake, that first buttery taste of sweet

corn. I believe in the sweet
hereafter, going cold
turkey, that some things are set in stone.

I’m stone cold sober, so lay some sweet lines on me.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. Tricia, my lord---you've made these shine even more since I last saw them. I love the repeating images in the poem about your dad---I think about catching things and not being able to catch them anymore and how memories are below the surface, always....and...oh so much more because your poem brings to mind deep things.

    I also am greatly pleased with your second poem, which is the best ISO speed date I've read. Yes. Everyone should reveal what they need and love this way and we'd all know each other that much better. Wishing you that first buttery taste of corn soon, although we'll have to wait awhile longer...

    1. Thank you, Sara. That first poem certainly didn't feel deep when I wrote it, just raw. I'm so glad my sisters pushed me to work on that envoi. This one feels right.

      And yes to revealing what we need and love. We need to be ourselves and unapologetic about it.

      With all this rain and cold, I fear the corn will be later than usual, but that will make it that much sweeter.

  2. "Now I fish alone--no dad, no largemouth--just cold, sweet stillness." So haunting and evocative. Both poems so well-done. Hugs.

    1. Thanks, Kelly. I really struggled with the length of both of these. As tough as the sestina was, I think this short form is harder.

  3. If I ever do speed dating IRL I am going to use your poem. It's tempting to think, what would it catch? Maybe a barefoot, bearded, local-food, grow-your-own, chicken-owning, liberal poet type?

    1. Wouldn't that be nice?! I'm glad I'm not in the dating pool, but there are times I wish in my past I had the courage to be more of the me I really am on that first date. It would have saved a lot of heartache.

  4. Oh, that envoi. You nailed that love and loss perfectly.

    The second one still makes me laugh out loud and think of pina coladas and getting caught in the rain and other cheesiness.

    1. And now that damn song is stuck in my head! It wasn't meant to be cheesy! And I'd definitely date the prospect who could name the form, or at least appreciate the poetry.

  5. Tricia!!! What you did with that first one??? Wow -- I'm walloped. These are beautiful. You really owned this form. I'm so impressed....

  6. Tricia--Wow--two such different and equally fabulous poems. Hugs on your father poem and on the power of these memories.

  7. I love how the sentences linger from line to line. Especially love the first one about your Dad.

  8. Even in loss, it's about those small memories that become so large. I love your poem about your father, love and anger all wrapped up in cold and sweet and mouth. And then the wait for better weather, really to me both yearning for something.

  9. I was unaware of the tritina until this post - so thank you for enlightening me! Such a touching tribute to your dad in the first one...the form works well for this, as each line leads to the next, never stopping, only lingering for awhile then moving on.

  10. This is a versatile form -- your two are so very different, but each powerful in their own ways.