Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Triversen

The triversen ("triple verse sentence") is a verse form invented by William Carlos Williams. Each stanza is composed of a single sentence, broken into three parts, which together form a stanza. The poems are generally unrhymed and often contain alliteration. They can be composed of any number of tercets.

You can learn more about the triversen and read some examples at Poetics and Ruminations.

So, there's your challenge for the week. I hope you'll join me in writing a triversen. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. I seem to have been writing this form without knowing its name or pedigree for some time. It seems natural to me.

    There Is No Single Month for Mourning

    There is no single month
    for mourning,

    Flowers droop,
    under the heavy burden
    of dew.

    Rain comes in volumes,
    like a Russian novel,
    sonorous, heavy, unending.

    All of you under
    the dark cover of earth
    understand this.

    Why is it we dwellers
    still in the light
    expect something else?

    When I am gone,
    my shadow will no longer
    illuminate and confuse.

    But memory does not
    between the two.

    I will come to you
    in memory
    heavy with grief.

    Or perhaps burdens
    of old anger;
    ignore them.

    There is safety in mourning,
    regrets, too,
    do not confuse them with living.

    Do not confuse them with life.

    ©2016 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  2. Cousins

    I see my cousins
    at a wedding on a Saturday,
    clustering in from out of state.

    I see cousins
    from the other side, somber,
    at my aunt’s funeral a few days later.

    Who are these people,
    and why do they look
    like my mom and dad?

    Why do they hug me,
    when I haven’t seen them
    for 5 years, for 10 or 15?

    Why do I hug them back,
    glad to be with them,
    wanting them to be happy?

    We exchange stories
    at the viewing and eat
    chocolate eclairs at the reception.

    We mark the great events
    of lifetimes together
    in our best dresses and suits.

    The clan is bigger
    at times like these,
    swirling like a highland fling.

    A hundred years ago, two hundred, three,
    the cousins gathered in Scotland,
    Germany, Ireland, Denmark, France.

    They gathered for weddings,
    for funerals, crying
    and giving each other hugs.

    —Kate Coombs, 2016
    all rights reserved

  3. Hmmmm--both poems referencing mourning. We need someone to write a HAPPY occasion poem.

  4. Truth rarely works to calm my fear

    "Angels bowling strikes" was once the gentle
    explanation someone used to soothe me through
    a raging thunderstorm when I was a child.

    That would not have been my mother as she'd
    have jumped at the opportunity to tell the truth
    and expound the pure physics of the storm.

    "Super-heated by electric charge of the
    lightening strike, molecules of air slap-back
    and resound as they are cooled."

    © 2016 Judith Robinson all rights reserved.