Back in freshman year in college for lit class we were asked to do a shrinklit poem where we shrink an entire story (play, novel, short story) into a poem. We were given Trifles by Susan Glaspell, and here is my shrinklit poem (edited already). I’m sharing it because I got a 3.8/4 for this assignment (essentially an A–my first one in that class). Considering I disliked writing poetry this was a huge achievement for me.


Mrs. Wright was jailed for murdering her spouse
Right in the bedroom of their dreary house.
He lay in bed with a rope ‘round his neck
So the sheriff and attorney went to check
To see if there were clues left behind
To tell why murder crossed her mind.
The ladies, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale,
(who went along with the lawful males)
found little trifles in the gloomy kitchen:
cloth for a quilt and jars that were broken.
A bird cage, too, with a broken door.
The bird that the cage was originally for
Was found all dead and oh, what gore!
Its neck was wrung.  ‘Twas a sight so sore!

The bird was Mrs. Wright’s only pet
And the ladies were all too willing to bet
That Mr. Wright killed the poor li’l bird
So the wife, her mind with pent-up anger blurred,
Killed the husband to avenge the bird.
Finally knowing what she went through,
The ladies felt pity (and compassion too).
So they decided to hide the dead bird
From the questioning eyes of the law and its board.
They walked away, the bird in a pocket
Scared but determined. On that you can bet.


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