Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Writing a Triolet

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, AS 49 (2015)

At Winter War in March AS 49, HRH Steinnar of Ealdormere made known his wish to fence with as many of the kingdoms fencers as possible. I wanted to write something to commemorate that moment and settles on the triolet.

The triolet was a 13th century stanza poem of 8-lines, written in iambic tetrameter and rhyming ABaAabAB. The first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines (thus making the initial and final couplets identical as well). The triolet is related to the rondeau.

I first needed to settle on what my A and B lines would be. Since they would repeat, and form both the opening and closing of the poem they needed to be strong and meaningful.

For the A line I choose:

The heir alone with sword in hand

This identifies the poem’s focal point (the Heir) and makes note of the fact that as of yet he stands alone.

For the B line I identify exactly what he is waiting for:

Awaits to fight with rapier bold

From there it was simply a matter of filling in the remaining lines. For the third line I choose to explicitly state who it was the Heir wanted to face in battle:

Contestants from across the land.

The fourth line then repeated the first line. For the fifth line I reiterated the Heir’s desire, and used the sixth line to remark on his character:

Will glad cross blades on field and sand
And in his heart bright valour hold.

The seventh and eighth lines then repeated the first and second lines. So what I ended up with was:

The heir alone with sword in hand
Awaits to fight with rapier bold
Contestants from across the land.
The heir alone with sword in hand
Will glad cross blades on field and sand
And in his heart bright valour hold.
The heir alone with sword in hand
Awaits to fight with rapier bold.

Sources

Fischer, Todd H. C., “Medieval Poetic Forms, Genres and Devices”, 2015.

Geller, Conrad, “Poetic Forms: The Triolet”, http://www.writing-world.com/poetry/triolet.shtml




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