This form is a little ... shall we say ... challenging. It was invented by Lewis Turco in 1965, and for those of somewhat familiar with poetry forms, it combines the villanelle’s refrain with the terza rima’s end line patterning. What truly makes it challenging is the number rules for it:
1. It is a fixed form of 19 lines - five triplets and a quatrain.
2. The body is comprised of tercets that each refrain the second line of the preceding tercet for its third line.
3. The first line of each of these tercets is rhymed with its refrained line.
4. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are refrained as the second and fourth lines of the closing quatrain.
5. The closing quatrain refrains the second line of the last tercet as its third line and rhymes its first line with that refrain.
6. Lines may be in any length or meter within reason.
7. Terzanelles may be written on any subject.
Got that now? There’ll be a test later. ;-)
The wind is sighing through the trees,
The warmth of summer shimmers ‘round;
Magic‘s found in days like these.
A forest pool, a wild playground,
Where water lilies are abloom,
The warmth of summer shimmers ‘round.
A wafting scent of rare perfume;
The air is soft with ambient light
Where water lilies are abloom.
Who directs your soaring flight,
Free spirit wandering where it will.
The air is soft with ambient light.
You dip and weave and fly with skill -
I’d follow if I only could,
Free spirit wandering where it will
I watch you flitter through the wood;
The wind is sighing through the trees.
I’d follow if I only could -
Magic is found in days like these.
If you’d like to learn more about the Terzanelle, try one of the following links:
The Poet's Garret
Popular Poetry Forms
If you give it a try, I’d love to see what you come up with. If you email it to me at carolrward(at)gmail(dot)com, I’ll post it here next Wednesday. And if you don’t, then you’re going to be stuck reading a couple of poems that survived junior high school.
How’s that for incentive? :-D