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Tinker

IV . Hindi Region: Triveni

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Tinker

Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Indian Verse
Hindi Region

The Triveni was introduced in the 1960's by Gulzar, poet and Oscar award winning lyricist who won for best original song in Slum Dog Millionaire. The form is a popular 3 line verse mostly written in Urdu or Hindi. It uses the sher of the ghazal and adds a third line with a totally different perspective. Gulzar likens it to two Indian rivers that join and under which a third river flows. “I called it triveni because the first two lines meet like the Ganga and the Yamuna and complete a thought, it forms a poem on its own. But beneath the two there is the subterranean flow of another, the Saraswati. Hidden. Not visible to the eye. The triveni intends to reveal the Saraswati. The third line, lost in the first two, either changes the meaning of the poem altogether, its focus, or gives it a surprising twist, in the process creating an entirely new poem altogether."

The elements of the Triveni are:

  1. a poem in 3 lines.
  2. written in lines of equal length.
  3. unrhymed
  4. written with a sher or complete closed couplet, a poem in itself. And concluded with single line which is an observation of the first 2 lines from a different perspective.

    Triveni #1 by Judi Van Gorder

    The everyday routine of the office humms on and on,
    questions, quotes, sales and claims dawn my day.

    New lines for a poem flash upon my computer screen.

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