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Poetry Friday- Triversen Poems

The 'Triversen' is a poetic form developed by William Carlos Williams. It presents as a flexible poetry form where the sentence plays a key role in forming each of the six three line stanzas.

A Triversen poem has the following characteristics:
  • Each stanza equals one sentence.
  • Each sentence/stanza breaks into 3 lines (each line is a separate phrase in the sentence).
  • There is a variable foot of 2-4 beats per line.
  • The poem as a whole should add up to 18 lines (or 6 stanzas).

Here's my attempt at a Triversen poem. It sets a tone of sadness, but in this case that was my brief as a poet.

Earl's Funeral

when they buried old Earl
a murder of crows
sat in a nearby tree

the shadow of a cloud
passed over the  mourners
who shuddered in the cold air

Earl was buried in an old suit
his favourite battered hat
and a photo of his dog.

can't remember
the last time I saw Earl 
but we shared a few words

A life gets recounted
packed up
and then put away

the crows held the tree captive
then shook their sooty feathers
and flew towards the sun.

Alan j Wright

Image result for a murder of crows


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Kimberly. A few memories converged in the writing, not the least an image of an ancient cemetery I once visited in Ireland on a bleak afternoon. A one time sighting of an enormous gathering of crows in a tree. The other strong influence was an old fellow I knew as a boy growing up. The structure helped support the emergence of the words and make the poem from these various images. It's amazing sometimes what influences the writing and how it all fits.

  2. Your poem has moved me to tears, Alan. The structure and images work together perfectly. I've never tried this form, but am now intrigued by it. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your most positive response Catherine. I hope you are also moved to try a Triversen poem too.

  3. You and Diane with the crows this week! Those last two stanzas really pack a punch.

    1. While crows bring a sense of foreboding, they are quite crafty birds who know how to survive. There are plenty of them in the near vicinity of my house and their raucous chorus is a curse on the tranquility of my mornings. Glad you found something in my words that you enjoyed Mary Lee.

  4. Wow, Alan, what a wonderful use of the form! I love the pathos of:A life gets recounted
    packed up
    and then put away

    1. Thank you Sally. Your feedback is much appreciated.


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