Sunday 17 May 2015

Terza Rima: A Chain Rhyme

The terza rima, which originated in Italy, can trace its roots back to Persia and the Orient.  The poem, which consists of 3-line stanzas, is written in iambic pentameter.  It follows a chain rhyme in which the middle of each stanza rhymes with the first and last line of the next stanza.  The rhyme scheme is: ABA BCB CDC DED (
Dante was the first European to popularize the terza rima in his work Divina Commedia.

Sixteenth Century poet Nicholas Breton wrote "Country Song" (

Alfred Lord Tennyson, one of the most famous Victorian-era poets, composed "The Eagle", published in 1851 at

Edwin Arlington Robinson, an American poet, wrote "The House on the Hill, published in 1894.

They are all gone away,
The house is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one today
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away.

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away
There is nothing more to say.

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