What is a Terzanelle?


The terzanelle is a modern poetic form, invented by Lewis P. Turco, that combines features of the villanelle with features of terza rima. Several terzanelles written by Mr. Turco appear on his blog Poetics and Ruminations.

Here is Mr. Turco’s definition: “The American TERZANELLE is a villanelle written in terza rima. Like the latter, it is nineteen lines in length: five interlocking triplets plus a concluding quatrain in which the first and third lines of triplet one reappear as refrains. The center line of each triplet is a repeton reappearing as the last line of the succeeding triplet with the exception of the center line of the penultimate stanza which reappears in the quatrain. This is the rhyme and refrain scheme for the triplets: A1BA2 bCB cDC dED eFE. The poem may end in one of two ways: fA1FA2 or fFA1A2. Every line is the same metrical length.” Quote from the April 9, 2014 entry on his blog Poetics and Ruminations

To write a terzanelle that flows like tai chi, I modify Mr. Turco’s form. 

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