Types of Poetry and Terms
Today, we're going to look at the triolet (TREE-o-LAY), which has 13th century French roots linked to the rondeau or "round" poem. A triolet (/ˈtraɪ.əlᵻt/ or US /ˌtriː.əˈleɪ/) is a stanza poem of eight lines. Its rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB and often all lines are in iambic tetrameter: the first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines, thereby making the initial and final couplets identical as well.
Review Me Twice: Meter in Poetry. English poems are divided into feet, which are groups of stressed and unstressed syllables. The types of feet are defined by the number and order of stressed and unstressed syllables. (In the chart, U means an unstressed syllable and S means a stressed syllable.) Once you figure out what kind of feet you're using, you count how many are in each line to figure out the type of meter. So when people talk about iambic pentameter, what do they mean? That each line of the poem contains five sets of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable (five iambs, or iambic feet, per line). So if you have a poem with four sets of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable followed by another unstressed syllable, what do you have? Amphibrachic tetrameter, of course! This sort of thing is only important if you're writing the types of poems that require certain meters (like a villanelle or a sonnet), or if you're aiming to write in a consistent meter.