Terza Rima

Terza Rima
 Apologia pro verbum meum
Dear followers of my WordPress Blog: sometimes
I write what I do not mean to write
and say what I do not mean to say. Rhymes
make things clearer, for I puzzle what I might
say, and plan ahead so an awkward word
doesn’t intrude. Words, birds in flight,
bright as postage stamps across the absurd
white snow of a page or a digital screen:
when I think about it, I assume about a third
of what I say, I really mean. Who has seen
the early morning wind drifting our thought cloud
across trees and lawn, shadows cast on green
leaves of grass as we think our thoughts aloud,
each thought a pea in a pod, as some we clasp
between finger and thumb while others crowd,
and the loud, uneasy word slips from our grasp
to wound or injure or otherwise to hurt and maim.
It’s not my aim to do this. My word is not an asp
or a viper or a screw to be driven. I lay no claim
to hurt and yet sometimes a word slips sideways
and does not say what I mean it to say. I aim
to please, to tease, to provoke, in so many ways
and yet I often hurt where no hurt is intended.
If I have done you wrong and my word displays
unintended ends, forgive me: let all rifts be mended.
Terza Rima was, for a long time, the chosen verse form for letters and epistles: the epistolary form, in fact. The rhyme scheme is very flexible and easy to maintain and the syllable count is also relatively easy. As for the length of the letter, well, that is entirely up to the writer. The one that I have chosen here has seven tercets and ends in a quatrain. The quatrain is a standard “stitch up” with which to end. I have used the epistolary form on many occasions, especially when sending postcards and letters to friends. Add it to your poetic arsenal. You will not regret doing so.

11 thoughts on “Terza Rima

  1. I like this! I know very little about poetry structure, but I’m learning. This looks like a style I could try out and enjoy. I do love rhyming poems. Catching up today on my reading. Rainy and miserable – a good day to hibernate.

    Liked by 1 person

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