Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poetry Stretch Results - Tritina

The challenge this week was to write a tritina, a 10-line poem composed of three, 3-line stanzas and a 1-line envoi. Like the sestina, a tritina uses an end-word scheme instead of a rhyme scheme. Here are the results.
Jane Yolen left this poem in the comments.
    The Moon and Me: A Tritina
    Looking last night at the moon,
    I thought how it resembled a stone
    Skipped by a child into the sky.

    But who would have thrown into the sky
    Something so precious as that moon,
    Such an enormous gem stone?

    I would have rather hung that stone
    Around my neck, bedecked like the sky
    With ear-stars as well as that hanging moon,
    And strolled into sky town, the boys whistling at the moonstone and me.

    @2009 Jane Yolen
Harriet at spynotes shares two poems in her post Dot's poetry corner.

Julie Larios at The Drift Record left this poem in the comments.
    A Noir-ish Tritina

    If Mr. Potato-Head
    met Ms. Lonelyhearts, what
    would he ask?

    What does a head ask
    a heart, even when that head
    is empty? Could be "What's

    up, Beautiful? What's
    the rush?" Hearts get asked
    that question by heads.

    When P-Head asks, "What's up, Little Lady?" Ms. L-heart says, "Who's asking?
Jacqueline at Neverending story shares a poem entitled A Tentative Tritina.

Dianne White shares the poem One Bird, One Branch, One Song.

Andi at a wrung sponge gives us the poem When maple flowers cover the picnic table.
I'm sharing two poems this week. The first was what I wanted to write about, the second is where the poem took me. I suppose this is why I write poetry--to put what's in my heart on the page, particularly when words don't come or can't be spoken.
Untitled 1
As night falls, owl
bathes in the moonlight, watching
long shadows dance

In the age old dance
of predator and prey, owl
remains ever watchful

Small creatures watch
too, but one won't escape the dance
or the swoop of the owl

There is no mourning, only eyes watching owl, free to dance another day.

Untitled 2
“Rage against the dying of the light,”
they say. But how do you escape death
when you are in his grasp?

I hold tightly to your ever-loosening grip,
praying for light,
hoping to postpone death.

I don’t know how to do this—negotiate your death,
watch you lose your grip
on day’s last light.

Light. Dark. Life. Death. We are all in their grasp.
It's not too late if you still want to play. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll add it to the list.


  1. I found this one too demanding and couldn't move around gracefully within its parameters. All those repeated words annoyed me, rather than freed me. I am glad to see that some of you were able to find a lyrical way to get to the heart of tritina. Alas, not I.


  2. It's fun to read what others have written. I agree with Jane, though. This is hard! But I so appreciate the opportunity to "stretch" and in some ways love that I have a deadline, so that I know that what I write only gets a small bit of time and then... it's "due."

    One Bird, One Branch, One Song

    Stand tall. Arms wide. Chin up. Sing.
    Let no one stop you. Dance.
    Take a chance. It’s your life. Live.

    Wild and free. Or dangerously. Live
    quietly, too. If you do, you will hear that one bird sing.
    You might see it wing its way to tree. One branch will dance

    and then the leaves stir. And the bird - the bird! - hop-dances
    and in that one moment, the world becomes alive.
    You and song and bird. Bird and earth and sky. Even I might sing.

    Even she. Even he. Even we might. All together. The whole world. Sing. Dance. Live.

  3. I think the tritina stricture has created some lovely poetry. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

  4. You are so right - we should have started our sestina work by practicing these for a month and a day! I really like Julia's - very clever! And I like your first one about the owl especially. I think there is something about the short, tight form that is like a tincture.

    My attempt is up for Friday poetry here.