Triquain Poetry


Created by Shelley Cephas, the Triquain is made up of lines starting with three syllable and increasing/decreasing so that each subsequent line has a multiple of three syllables. A common form is 7 lines with the pattern 3-6-9-12-9-6-3. This form is always centered and must have at least 7 lines. Other variations include the Triquain Chain, Swirl, and Crown (see Shadow Poetry for a detailed explanation). These variations comprise of multiple Triquains.

My Tips, Tricks, & Opinions

Feel free to leave your thoughts and advice in the comment section below.

What I Like

Even though there is structure and a set length, variations such as the swirl, chain, and crown allow poets to continue thoughts that may be too lengthy for a single Triquain. Triquains do not have a rhyme scheme, but poets may choose to apply a rhyme scheme if they desire; this allows even more flexibility in the style. The amount of flexibility incorporated into this style enables poets to add their own touch of creativity—which is always a plus.

The Tricky Part...

Most styles are pyramidal (like the Etheree) or constant (like the Octain) in number of syllables, this style however, varies by multiples of 3. While this produces a unique cadence, it is difficult to pen lines following this pattern. For me, the line with 12 syllables is particularly difficult—that's like a full, complex sentence from a research paper!


Hold On (July 23, 2014)

Hold on now,
I'll be there in my own time
Slower than the rest, perhaps faster
I'll manage to make it where I'm supposed to be—
I have the vision and the power,
Don't rush my progress friend--
Just hold on.


  1. "Triquain". Shadow Poetry; visited October 2014
  2. Lawrence Eberhart. "Triquain". Poet's Collective. December 2012

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