A Triolet in Raindrops

Another rainy day today–I think we must be in store for some fabulous May flowers! My apologies for the short post again tonight–it’s been a busy day for writing!

With Earth Day and the weather today, I knew nature would again be my inspiration for my NaPoWriMo poem.

Today’s prompt was another fun rhythm challenge:

Today, let’s try writing triolets. A triolet is an eight-line poem. All the lines are in iambic tetramenter (for a total of eight syllables per line), and the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines. This means that the poem begins and ends with the same couplet. Beyond this, there is a tight rhyme scheme (helped along by the repetition of lines) — ABaAabAB.

I’d heard of iambic tetrameter, but I’d never tried it. It is a close cousin of my favorite iambic pentameter, with only two less syllables per line. I was shocked by how much I liked it; I think my favorite may have some new (or ancient, as it were) competition! The rhythm is so much more song-like than iambic pentameter, and this was helped along even more by the triolet repetition of the 1st, 4th, and 7th lines–which, again, I’d never tried. The rhyming, too, lent a melodic quality to it. I’ve worked with repetition before, as with the pantoum–an example of which I will likely share later this month–I would argue that it was the most difficult style I have ever attempted.  It has a similar idea of interlacing with repetition, but the triolet’s repetition is shorter, and the whole poem is only eight lines, which gives more pressure to say something profound in a concise manner, but less anxiety about droning on with a story. Somehow, with the triolet, I had more of an instinct to capture a moment than a story, the latter of which I felt compelled to do in a pantoum–or rather, impelled, as I was immediately inspired to write about my mother’s quilting when I noticed the weaving pattern of the form. When I study a form of poetry, it often sparks a related idea for the subject, much as a smell can recall a memory. It is almost a physical feeling–the writing process feels like a muscle memory of an image or a story to me. That is how I came to think of tonight’s poem. It has a trickling, soft, graceful effect in the way the rhythm sounds; almost like a delicate dance. In the hustle and bustle today at work, I was momentarily stunned when I walked outside and was greeted by drizzle.

By: Amanda K. Fowler

The raindrops mist upon my face;
Light as they are, they give me pause.
I’d rushed outside, but ‘tis the case,
The raindrops mist upon my face.
They fill my soul with sudden grace;
I’ve near forgot my journey’s cause.
The raindrops’ mist upon my face—
Light as they were, they gave me pause.


A parting tip: when I work with such strict rhyming forms as this, or a sonnet, for example, I find it helpful to lay out a template for myself on my page/screen, line by line. It seems simple, but it works for me. This is what it looks like:


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