Friday, November 04, 2016

Poetry Seven Write Terza Rima

As this year of writing together winds down, the Poetry Seven gang is tackling our final form, the terza rima. The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms (Padgett, 2000) defines terza rima in this fashion.
Terza rima is a tumbling, interlocking rhyme scheme that was invented by the thirteenth-century Italian poet Dante for the creation of his long poem, The Divine Comedy.

Terza rima (an Italian phrase meaning "third rhyme") consists of a series of three-line stanzas (tercets) with the rhyme scheme aba bcb cdc ded and so on. It can go on as long as the poet wishes. At the end of the poem an extra line is often added to complete the structure: yzy z.
You can read more on this form at

So, with a form to guide us, we decided to write about something uplifting, grateful, or hopeful. I'm not sure I managed to meet the theme head on this time, but rather think I've struck a close tangent. It's been hard to feel hope during this protracted election cycle, but I'm trying mightily to stay positive.

Here's the first draft which I wrote last night. Yes, at this point in the semester I'm working on everything at the last minute (much like my students, I imagine). It shows, but I'm glad to be here with my sisters once again.

Untitled Terza Rima
(With apologies to Langston Hughes)

Our world feels broken, bruised beyond repair
such bluster, noise, and chaos fill each day
but hope must be our choice and not despair

As clouds around us swell in black and gray
the news reminds us things could be much worse
so we must persevere, must not delay

to treasure all we have, this earth diverse
to meet each heart with gratitude and trust
to turn this global meltdown in reverse

to show more kindness, fight for what is just
to raise up those who've long been trod upon
to douse hate's sparks before we all combust

Acknowledge this will be a marathon
that change requires strength that’s undeterred
that only faith and love will move us on

to realize at last those dreams deferred

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. Sending hugs to Andi who's not sharing a poem today, but always with us in spirit.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by one of my poetry sisters, Laura Purdie Salas. Happy poetry Friday friends!

P.S. - I'm celebrating a BIG blogiversary on Sunday, so I hope you'll stop by to join me for some virtual cake and a few fond memories.


  1. Appreciations for this encouraging look at the future. And for the background to this form, a gift of Dante & the links to the gifts from your Poet Princess group. I look forward to visiting them all.

  2. Can't believe you wrote this in one night! Holy cow! Some big truth here! Thanks for this reminder on the day when I have to fill out my ballot!

  3. This has the feel of an anthem, a call to arms. I like the form as you've used it.

  4. So grateful for your words of hope!!! I love that last stanza. Here's to hope and love moving us on!!

  5. Acknowledge this will be a marathon
    that change requires strength that’s undeterred
    that only faith and love will move us on

    YES, this. People keep thinking that all will be well November 9th, and ...nope. We have a long walk to water ahead. But, justice will flow.

    Courage, sister.

  6. Wow, it is one to read and read again, Tricia. This election cycle is filled with the unusual, one I wish I'd never witnessed. You've given beauty to all our hopes! Happy "almost" blogiversary!

  7. Last-minute looks goon on you, Tricia!

    "to raise up those who've long been trod upon
    to douse hate's sparks before we all combust"

    So much love and loveliness in this poem. Thank you!

  8. Or even "good" on you. Sheesh.

  9. I think so many of us are feeling this way right now - emotionally and mentally bruised and battered, but with glimmer of hopes just below the surface. Thank you for a beautiful poem.

  10. Love this poem very much - and I find it inspiring, not sad at all (something you commented on ahead of time). And I love Laura's "goon" typo as well. LOL!

  11. Not sad, as Kelly says, but...wise, ready, girded and determined that love will be powerful and enough. I'm with you, sister!

  12. I always enjoy the forms you introduce and the challenge responses posted by you Poetry Sevens. If you hadn't told us it was last minute, no one would have guessed, I'm sure. (Just three more days...)

  13. Election

    The world spins into space.
    A choice now must be made,
    In this mad political race.

    Such an odd charade
    Drives us to the booth
    In a stark parade.

    Yes, I'm long in tooth,
    But never have I seen
    Such mangling of the truth.

    Political's machine
    with no apologies,
    Madness twinned with mean.

    No time to be at ease.,
    We fight for freedom's best.
    This moment we must seize.

    This moment we MUST seize.

    ©2016 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

    appease please ease
    ©2016 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  14. "but hope must be our choice and not despair"


  15. I think it reads quite well, considering it's a first draft...good job! And the sentiment is so true.