Poetic Forms
Every now and again a poetic form is mentioned that leaves some of us baffled. Recently we met the 'Villanelle' and then the 'Terza Rima'.
 
This occasional column will offer brief explanations - and (sometimes) examples!

Terza Rima 

(Italian: 'third rhyme')

 

This is the 3-line (tercet) stanza form that Dante used to write The Divine Comedy. It can be writtern in any meter, but iambic pentameter is preferred in English.

 

Terzea rima stanzas are chain rhymed a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c etc. There is no limit to the number of lines, but the poem must end with an extra line or couplet that rhymes with the middle line of the last tercet.

 

An example in English is Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind'.

 

 

 

 

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