This is an article about the obscure triolet type of poetry.
One of the least understood forms of poetry among poets today is the triolet poem, which my spell checker keeps wanting to replace with "triplet".
Triolet is written in eight lines with a rhyme scheme of ABaAbbAB. Lines 1, 4 ,and 7 are identical and it is from this that the type derives its name " triolet" meaning three. Lines 2 and 8 are also identical, leaving only three lines to be different throughout the poem.
There doesn't seem to be any consistent consensus on who first started writing in the triolet form, although it seems to have originated in Europe sometime around the Renaissance era in the 14th century. It was particularly popular with women. It has fallen out of popularity today, although it is trying to make a come back.
Triolet is often confused with the French Roundeau form, which also uses redundancy but the two forms are different in many other ways. Poets who write in the triolet form are often accused of being redundant. This is usually because the critic fails to realize that redundancy is the whole point of triolet. Like Limerick poetry, the poet who writes in triolet form has to get the point across succinctly using very few words. Triolet written properly is very sing-song and flows nicely. There are no syllable counts in triolet but an added challenge is to write them in iambic tetrameter or pentameter format. Triolets usually also convey a comedic message although this is not always the case.