The Terzanelle is a poetry form “invented” by Lewis Turco in 1964/1965 when, in his words, he decided to experiment with the Villanelle by adding Terza Rima to it. 


The Terzanelle is, as Turco describes it, a Villanelle written in Terza Rima. So…

  • 19 lines long
  • 5 interlocking triplets… 
  • plus a concluding quatrain in which the 1st and 3rd lines of triplet one reappear as refrains
  • the center line of each triplet reappears as the last line of the succeeding triplet except for the center line of the penultimate stanza [the last triplet] which reappears in the quatrain
  • So, A1BA2/bCB/cDC/dED/eFE ending either fA1FA2 or fFA1A2
  • no syllable
  • usually iambic pentameter but Turco isn’t strict on this




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