Friday, February 25, 2011

Triolet Pre Scrabble Poetry Post (ABaAabAB)

This Saturday (11:30 AM @ Café Racer) in Scrabble Poetry, we will be constructing a simple eight-line form poem (related to the pantoum form) called the triolet. The great thing about it will be that an eight-line form fits in perfectly with the arctic tundra nature of words generated in a scrabble game. Another selling point of the triolet is that it fits the description of scarcity (which also happens to be what Ahmed and mine’s workshop at Seattle Central Community College explores; if you’re interested you can always sign up for it; the cost is only 70 dollars per person for six two hour sessions of self discovery; it is class code number 6579).

Since we live in the contemporary age and not thirteenth century France, we will not have to concern ourselves with the rigid meter of a ten count syllabic line length. However we will have to rhyme. Let’s see if I can write this out the form in a non-confusing manner before I start in with the diagram and examples.

Line one is repeated as line three and line seven. Line two is also the last line. Line three and five need to be of equal syllabic length as well as rhyme with line one. And lastly, line six rhymes with line two. Clear as mud? Let’s try an example coupled with a diagram. For line one and two I’ll sample dorky pop song lyrics. This should be fun.

Line Patterns

Syllabic count

"So you think you know the answers – oh no"


"‘Couse the whole world has got you dancing"


Don’t you know dog, it’s a spinning – yo-yo


So you think you know the answers – oh no


It’s a challenge to remember you hoe


When I’m out thrashing the floor, I’m bashing


So you think you know the answers – oh no


‘Couse the whole world has got you dancing


Apparently, this travesty was a hit in December 1986. 
If you click on a hyperlink you can refresh your memory
read the lyrics or listen to it. I thought Lionel Richie toy train set?

Ok that wasn’t very good. It was almost like what I witnessed at Ozzie's singing Karaoke last Wednesday: two people not at all easy on the eyes bump, hump, and grind on the dance floor while a screechy guy spit out a hip-hop pop song. I wonder where I was when "Say you, say me," was released? Oh...I my VW baja-ed out bug racing up I-5 to Portland with Iron Maiden Number of the Beast, Black Sabbath, or that protogoth band Soft Cell screaming into my ears and seeping out the metal of the car. Perhaps the prompt I chose was too horrible to behold, but look it is almost in that rigid 13th century ten syllabic count per line form.

I’m positive that the poem you come up with (should you join us at Café Racer this Saturday fifteen or so minutes before noon) will be a masterpiece of theatrical lyrical scribblery.

Should we try one more example using a less horrible prompt? OK. You convinced me. So, for this last example, I’ll use two consecutive lines from a Men At Work Down Under song which goes back to good old 1982 when the best beer on the market tasted just like Schlitz Malt Liquor. Which was my beer of choice at fourteen years of age while skinny dipping at midnight slipping bare-ass down a slide. Yes, I remember that song by Men at Work. My family had an exchange student from Paraguay living with us for a year. His name is Angel Ortiz. Also, that year Scorpions Black Out was released. And I discovered metal that year, I threw away my Thriller album, I started using Copenhagen (I eventually quit), and started playing electric guitar. Yep...I remember good old 1982.

1)         I said, “Do you speak-a my language?
2)                  He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
3)                  Nodding like it was rotten carrot salvage
4)                  I said, “Do you speak-a my language?
5)                  Do-ah-week a mo-won gan-ga dosage
6)                  Ah boo da woo Fahrenheit baggage
7)                  I said, “Do you speak-a my language?
8)                  He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

Alright, there ya have it. The exercise is set for this Saturday morning at Cafe Racer (in the Ravenna neighborhood next door to the Trading Musician) at 11:30 in the morning for a friendly match of scrabble followed by writing triolet utilizing words generated in the game. See ya there!

(Leave a comment if the explanation is understandable or not)

1 comment:

  1. A thin shade separates heaven from hell
    A bat flew out over shadowing the caves
    Ronnie James Dio is now with the Krell
    A thin shade separates heaven from hell
    Our president was good but now he fell
    Oiled by a party in ecstasy he raves
    A thin shade separates heaven from hell
    A bat flew out over shadowing the caves