Poetry Challenge 17: The Triolet Challenge by Leah Sommers

Western Trillium

A triolet is small, highly specific form with only two rhymes and several repeating lines. I find it is well suited for a kind of musing, serious or silly, that turns over on itself, reveals a new facet in the turning, and rounds yet again to completion. Our 17th challenge is to write one, or several.

For your emulation, inspiration, and reading pleasure: “Triolet” by G.K. Chesterton


I wish I were a jelly fish
That cannot fall downstairs:
Of all the things I wish to wish
I wish I were a jelly fish
That hasn’t any cares,
And doesn’t even have to wish
“I wish I were a jelly fish
That cannot fall downstairs. ”

–G.K. Chesterton


Less inspirational, but also illustrating the form and of biographical note to any hypothetical fans, is one I wrote about ten years ago:

The concept, freedom, flees from me;
I chase it down the metaphors
to grasp its bright Reality.
The concept, freedom, flees from me,
lost in a maze of simile,
of Calvin and existential lores.
The concept freedom, flees from me.
I chase it down the metaphors.

The Rules:

A triolet an eight line stanza with a first line repeating as the fourth and seventh lines, and a second line repeating as the eighth and last.  The rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB, with the capitals signalling the repeated lines.

They were traditionally written in iambic tetrameter, but according to my quick google search this was not the case in France, so we will not hold strictly to that rule either, d’accord?

Good luck!

-Leah Sommers

Editor’s Note: Let’s open this challenge on a Sunday again: August 11th, 2018. I’ll publish a new post, as usual, and we’ll post our poems in the comments section. I’m looking forward to this one!

-Alana Roberts


  1. Is the Chesterton example not ABaAbaAB, i.e. lines 5 & 6 rhyme the other way round? So which is the correct Triolet form? Or are they both acceptable?


Comment rules: name and email required; website not required. No more than 2 links, please. Markdown is enabled. Enclose with 1 asterisk for italics, or 2 asterisks for bold.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.