A Tritina is a mini version of a Sestina but there are three stanzas of three lines and a
final line. So, there are ten lines total. The three stanza’s use the same three ending
words in a pattern. The final line uses those same three words. It’s not as complicated
as it sounds especially considering that there is no rhyming scheme.

Here is the pattern: Stanza one ending words: A, B, C
Stanza two ending words: C, A, B
Stanza three ending words: B,C, A
Last line uses words A,B, C

Here’s my example:

“Learning to sing in the dark”

The night is empty without you and I’m
feeling a bit lost, wondering what you’re doing
under this cold moon of time. There’s a fine

line between a sad ending and a war, a fine
line between grief and death. Right now, I’m
somewhere in between. Suffering is doing

the work in me that love couldn’t–by not doing
for you, I’ve found a beauty in silence. I’m fine
with sitting in this space left by us. It’s cold but I’m

learning to sing in the dark and I’m doing just fine.


8 thoughts on “Tritina

  1. J.lynn,

    Your Tritina is beautiful, and it touches on the personal side to which poetry can help express. Would you have any issue if I were to use your poem as an example for the writing workshop I will be facilitating tomorrow?

    I am a teaching artist from Teen Writers and Artists Project ( We hold weekly writing workshops known as “Wordplay”, and, as mentioned, I will be hosting one tomorrow. For my workshop I was to show writers specific structures for poetry, that being Sestina and Tritina poems. While I have a handout of “Tritina for Susannah” by David Yezzi already, I like yours since it shows a different, personal style that differs from Yezzi’s, and I would like my group to be exposed to both, differing Tritina poems.


    – A

    • Astrid-I’m so happy to hear that teens are interested in learning poetry! That’s encouraging. What a great website too! Of course you may use my Tritina as an example in your workshop. I hope that it encourages your students to look deeply into themselves and use poetry to express what they are unable to speak aloud.

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Speak to me of thoughts unspoken.

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