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Terza rima

An Italian stanzaic form, used most notably by Dante Alighieri in Commedia (The Divine Comedy), consisting of tercets with interwoven rhymes (ABA BCB DED EFE, and so on). A concluding couplet rhymes with the penultimate line of the last tercet. See Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind,” Derek Walcott’s “The Bounty,” and Omeros, and Jacqueline Osherow’s “Autumn Psalm.”

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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