2 Conversations


The Triolet is an obscure, indeed arcane verse form with a very specific structure and rhyme-scheme. Originally found in Old French among the works of medieval poets such as Charles d'Orleans and Francois Villon, it was, along with other forms such as the "Ballade," the "Rondeau," the "Pantoum" and the "Villanelle," re-introduced to English poetry in the nineteenth century by writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson.

At the turn of the 19th.- 20th.centuries, a book entitled "Ballades and Rondeaus", selected by Gleeson White under the general heading, "The Canterbury Poets," was published by Walter Scott Ltd. It included a selection of Triolets and examples of all the other major Old French forms. Sadly, it was undated, so the question of copyright prevents the inclusion here of any of the published poems.

The characteristic of most of the old medieval verse forms was a very strict rhyme scheme, frequently with repeated lines. In the case of the Triolet the rhyme scheme is A,B,A,A,A,B,A,B. However the first two lines are repeated exactly as the last two lines, and furthermore, the fourth line is a repeat of the first line. It is a form that lends itself to trivia.

Here is an example:


I felt like a fool
When I drove through your wall
Returning from school,
I felt like a fool,
And crashed into your pool!
Though the hole was quite small
I felt like a fool
When I drove through your wall.


Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written and Edited by


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more