In November, we will be exploring various “elle” style poems, including the Kyrielle, Diatelle, Octelle, and Terzanelle! This week, we’ll be challenging you to write a #TERZANELLE.

Not for the faint hearted! The Terzanelle is a combination of two popular Italian poetic forms. It merges the repetition of the villanelle with the lyricism of the terza rima. It is a 19-line poem consisting of five interlocking triplets/tercets plus a concluding quatrain in which the first and third lines of the first triplet appear as refrains. The middle line of each triplet is repeated, reappearing as the last line of the succeeding triplet with the exception of the center line of the next-to-the-last stanza which appears in the quatrain. The rhyme and refrain scheme for the triplets is as follows (everything in caps is repeated / refrained, lower case is in rhyme)

Line – Rhyme
1 – 
A
2 – 
B
3 – 
A
4 – 
b
5 – 
C
6- 
B
7 – 
c
8 – 
D
9 – 
C
10 – 
d
11 – 
E
12 – 
D
13 – 
e
14 – 
F
15 – 
E
16 – f
17 – A
18 – F
19 – A

Alternative ending type 2:
16. f
17. F
18. A
19. A

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Elle poems focus on various rhyming patterns to convey meaning. You may write on any subject.

Example courtesy of @breathwords.

Example of how to write a Terzanelle poem by Ashley Jane, @Breathwords

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