Friday, June 24, 2011

Try a Trimeric! Happy Poetry Friday!

Howdy, Campers!  
We've just completed our VCFA series, which began with Jodi Paloni's entry, "The Point of Point of View."  After Jodi's post,  Cynthia Newberry Martin shared a technique for letting the characters tell you what happens next in your story in her piece, "Decide vs. Discover."  Sion Dayson gave us another method for moving forward called, What Happens Next? Inch Forward in the Dark.”  Then, Lynn Miller-Lachmann showed us the VCFA way to critique a fellow writer’s manuscript in "Critiquing Others: The Constructive Critique." And we ended the series with guest blogger Pam Watts's post, "Finding the Heart in Your Story"

Thanks to the VCFA writers who shared their writer's journey with us!
Now, journey along with us as we celebrate Poetry Friday ~
Thank you, Carol, of Carol's Corner, for hosting Poetry Friday this week!

Okay, I have a confession to make: I.  Am having.  A love affair.  I'm so excited about this new love in my life, in fact, that I want to share a poem I wrote about it:

by April Halprin Wayland

You're the only one I'm telling:
I'm having a love affair.  
My husband knows.
I don't sneak around whispering that name.

I've having a love affair!
My new love makes everything so simple,
helps me see the world in a new light.

My husband knows.
He phoned and heard my hypnotized voice.
He came home unexpectedly and saw triplets dribbling drown my chin.

I don't sneak around whispering that name—
I sing it, I shout it:
Trimeric! Trimeric! Trimeric!
2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved

Yes, I'm in love with a form of poetry that appears to have been invented relatively recently called the trimeric. The inventor, Dr. Charles Stone, says it rhymes with limerick.  (I prefer to call it a try-mer-ic, which sounds lovelier.)  Here is the definition on his trimeric page

"Trimeric \tri-(meh)-rik\ n: a four stanza poem in which the first stanza has four lines and the last three stanzas have three lines each, with the first line of each repeating the respective line of the first stanza.  The sequence of lines, then, is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -."

In searching for more information (there isn't much), I found one poet who rhymes the last two lines of each stanza, but this isn't part of the official definition.

Here are more trimerics I played around with this week:

by April Halprin Wayland

She said, “No, I'm too tired.”
“Let's explore the word
tired,” he said
then the tortoise lumbered in the door and they laughed.

“Let's explore the word
for creature who looks
like a dinosaur but lives in our house.  He's obviously not

tired,” he said,
though if you look closely, 
the tortoise did have dark rings under his eyes.

Then the tortoise lumbered in the door 
and she reached for his hand.
“I like your wrinkles better than his,” she said, and they laughed.
2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved


by April Halprin Wayland

Walk the perimeter, the trainer says.  
You're the leader, the one to watch.
Eli will look up every now and then
to find you.

You're the leader, the one to watch,
he's the guy in the field, taking notes,
doing the research, collecting the data.

Eli will look up every now and then,
give you the secret wink
and you'll know the coast is clear, the deal will go down.

To find you,
he'll launch his implanted dog paw device
and you will reach nonchalantly for your cell phone.
2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved

Eli, getting ready to go incognito to the dog park

by April Halprin Wayland

First, a mound of soil burst open—then, 
a stem poked through.
The next day,
it blossomed in the sun.

A stem poked through—
but it wasn't a stem.
What then? A finger.

The next day,
more fingers, an arm, 
a body bathed in dirt.

It blossomed in the sun:
green eyes, asparagus-fern hair,
a boy of greens and ground.
2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved


by April Halprin Wayland

She used to be nicer to me.
Something's happened.
Now her voice is stern; 
she frowns at me for little things.

Something's happened.
It used to be all about scratching my rump,
or giving me that big bone stuffed with peanut butter.

Now her voice is stern
and she'll only give me that big bone
when I've done all that sit-stay-down-roll over stuff.

She frowns at me for little things.
I wonder if pulling all the stuffing out of the couch 
had anything to do with it?
2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing...why should Eli be any different?

I love the surprise package of a trimeric--at least the way I write them. It appears as if the poem is about one thing, but if I can turn it the right way, then--surprise!--it's about something else.

So write one or two or twelve.  It's simple...and it's not.  But it's certainly addictive.  And please share yours with us--I'm really interested in seeing what you come up with!

And remember to write with a sense of play.  I mean, why else are we doing this? 

P.S: I wanted to do a few drawings to break up this post.  But each drawing takes a long time, so I took photos instead.  Saving my energies to work on my book.  Just thought I'd share that.  We all need to prioritize, right?

poems and photos (c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved


Mary Lee said...

I can't wait to "trimeric" these with my fourth graders!!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Mary Lee...we'd love to see what your students came up with--please share them if you can!

cindyja said...

These look like wonderful fun. Great for summer brain work on the deck. Thanks!

Ed DeCaria said...

Thanks for the idea. I rather like the trimeric format. It forces you to do a bit of foreshadowing, and actually takes you to a place you did not necessarily intend to go.

Case in point -- I completed one last night that started with the line "Bad music made worse by volume" because the sound of a distant barbecue was annoying me, and somehow the poem ended in suicide! (I didn't see that coming.)

Anyways, thanks again. I'll play with this some more as part of my kids' poetry work. (I'll try for happier endings, too.)


April Halprin Wayland said...

Summer brainwork indeed, Cindy. And Ed--now you have us all dying to read the darker trimeric that came to you from that annoying BBQ!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for sharing this new form with us, April, and for all your wonderful examples. :-) This stanza made me laugh:
>>She frowns at me for little things.
I wonder if pulling all the stuffing out of the couch
had anything to do with it?<<
Oh, Eli!
I'm glad you used photos to make your posting easier/quicker. Yes, priorities are important. That's why I haven't been reading many blogs lately. Do miss it though.

Anonymous said...

Hey!! Glad to see some very clever approaches to trimerics. Your kind words about the form are appreciated.

Dr. Charles A. Stone