Poetry Project — November 2017

Well, hello triolet!

This little French twist looks easy, it woos you, draws you in.
There are only eight lines, it says, and three of them identical.
Look — easy!

But oh, what a puzzle.
There is sort of dissonant rhyme scheme and the tetrameter feels somehow limiting.
Who cares? we said. We’ll try it anyway!

We gave ourselves a group of words to include — at least 2 per poem — so that our poems would echo each other’s. So look out for the following: orange, fall, chill, light, change

And, enjoy!

Hold Us Still

This amber light that holds us still —
we are made fossils by the fall,
a mix of beauty and of chill.
This amber light that holds us still –
elbows resting on the sill –
a grief that keeps us in its thrall.
This amber light that holds us still —
we are made fossils by the fall.

Fall Back

The time will change again this week –
instead of five I’ll wake at four!
(Helpful if it’s peace I seek.)
The time will change again this week –
the curtains fall, the dog looks bleak.
The fire’s stoked, the tea is poured.
The time will change again this week –
instead of five I’ll wake at four.

Letter to My Daughter in College

Set your collar against the chill,
prepare to face the waning light.
Bundle up. Promise that you will
set your collar against the chill.
Sleep well, love deeply, eat your fill.
If I were there, I’d hold you tight.
Set your collar against the chill.
Prepare to face the waning light.

You might like reading the ones my Poetry Sisters wrote, too:


And Poetry Friday is at Teacher Dance!

Posted on 11/03/2017 11:48 am


  1. Lovely! Esp. the one for your daughter.


  2. Oh these are lovely. I think you chose wonderful lines to repeat in all of them.


    • Oh, thanks! Yes, that’s the tricky part — you really don’t want those lines to feel relentless!


  3. Ohh, the one for your girl just made me tear up. It’s like Instructions From Mama To Manage Winter Blahs. The first one I just adore as well — we are held still in awe of the amber light, of the peace and beauty – as well as the grief and chill. Well used words, those.


  4. I love the use of amber and fossil in the first poem. It’s a nice play on the science. Such a range of poem topics, all so different, yet each one wonderful in its own right. Thank you for sharing all of these.


  5. Kelly Ramsdell

    That first one really sings now that it’s paired back! Too funny that we both used “amber light”. And I adore all three.


    • I’m glad you brought up the meter on our google doc. I was trying to be more conversational but I don’t think this form works that way….


  6. I enjoyed the way you played with the rhyme scheme too, and made us feels as if you were sharing the latest musings, like friend to friend. Nice to read each one, Liz.


  7. Poetry Princess Fridays are my favorite Poetry Fridays of all!

    Like Tricia, I love the amber and fossils in the first poem.


  8. Your poem to your daughter made me tear right up. My first one has flown out of state and I miss her deeply. Your trio of triolets are wonderful and I’m so enjoying reading all the Poetry Princesses posts with those echoing words. Such a wonderful example of how similar origins (form and words) can lead in such dazzlingly different directions.


    • I know — I love seeing where all our paths diverge, even when using the same form and some of the same raw materials!!
      Also, tender mama-hugs to you…


  9. Oh, Liz. These are just glorious, especially the one to your daughter. That bittersweet feeling of letting go and wishing everything for her… That one just really got to me, so I enjoyed the first two also. Something about the fact that the light was waning rather than waxing. It made it feel so melancholy. 100 years, which is one of my very favorite songs, was playing as background music in my head while I reread your poem.


    • Ha — I haven’t listened to that in a long time. Thanks for the nudge — just watched a youtube video!!


  10. Three lovely triolets–I especially love the one to your daughter in college. It echoes what is in my heart for my daughter away at college.


  11. Despite your earlier rising, I’d like to climb into your second triolet, Fall Back– it sounds very cozy in there. All three have a timeless quality to them, thanks!


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