terza rima


ter·za ri·ma

noun \ˌtert-sə-ˈrē-mə\

Definition of TERZA RIMA

:  a verse form consisting of tercets usually in iambic pentameter in English poetry with an interlaced rhyme scheme (as aba, bcb, cdc)

Origin of TERZA RIMA

Italian, literally, third rhyme
First Known Use: 1819

Rhymes with TERZA RIMA

terza rima

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Verse form consisting of tercets, or three-line stanzas, in which the second line of each rhymes with the first and third lines of the next. The series ends with a separate line that rhymes with the second line of the last stanza, so that the rhyme scheme is aba, bcb, cdc, …, yzy, z. Dante, in The Divine Comedy (c. 1310–14), was the first to use terza rima in a long poem. A demanding form, it has not been widely adopted in languages less rich in rhymes than Italian. It was introduced into England by Sir Thomas Wyatt in the 16th century. Poets who have experimented with terza rima include Percy B. Shelley, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and W.H. Auden; Derek Walcott's book-length Omeros is written in modified terza rima.

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