Writing Exercise - the tritina

Saturday 27 June 2015

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I'm going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.

 Whenever I teach poetry, there will often be a student arguing against rhyme or railing against the discipline of meter or battling the regimented notion of syllable counting. My usual response, that the practice of poetry is assisted by working to the structure of established forms, often seems like a poor comeback. Oftentimes, as a compromise, we’ll end up working on the tritina.

The tritina is a ten line form of unrhymed poetry, broken into three tercets (three-lined stanzas) with a final, solitary, line.  The device that makes the tritina remarkable is its use of repeated words, once in each line, in the pattern of A B C, C A B, B C A. The final line of the tritina includes all three of the A B C words.

Kisses, Crops and Canes

For years they met and shared their kisses
Sating a passion for crops
Exploring a passion for canes

They learnt each other's favourite canes
Then chased each stripe with tender kisses
And chased each kiss with cruel crops

Eventually they outgrew crops
Their need for pain outgrew the canes
But never once did they eschew kisses

Kisses do so much more than crops and canes

You’ll notice here that the ABC words kisses(A)crops(B) and canes(C) are repeated at the end of the lines in the aforementioned pattern: A B C, C A B, B C A. In the final line it doesn’t matter about the order of the three words as long as they’re all there.

Kneel and Worship

When we meet you insist that I should kneel
(before we undress, touch, or kiss) and
you insist that at your feet I worship

It helps that you’re so worthy of worship
and that I need to kneel
at your feet and

remain there paying homage and
promising other forms of worship
that I might still do whilst I kneel

How I love to hear you whisper: “Kneel and worship.”

There is no fixed meter, although the poem appears to work best when each line contains a similar number of syllables. In this one you’ll notice that the ABC words kneel(A)and(B) and worship(C) are repeated (again) in the aforementioned pattern: A B C, C A B, B C A. I’ve managed to get my ABC words as the last three in the final line – although this isn’t a necessity.

If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

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