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This month my poetry sisters and I undertook the writing of terza rimas, a poem written using three-line nested stanzas. It can go on for an age, as in the case of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alligheri, or it can be as short as a sonnet, as in "Acquainted With the Night" by Robert Frost. It can even be combined into sonnet-like stanzas, as with Keats's "Ode to the West Wind". Basically, they go ABA BCB CDC DED etc. And usually end off with either a single line that goes with the middle of the prior stanza (in this example, E) or with a rhymed couplet of the same (i.e., EE). Tricia Stohr-Hunt wrote one that ends with a single line; Sara Lewis Holmes wrote one that goes as far as G, if you map out her rhyme scheme. I went with the shorter sonnet version.

They can be kept in separate three- and one- or two-line stanzas, or jammed all together, as Laura Salas opted to do. They are typically written in English using iambic pentameter, but Tanita Davis did a magical job using fourteeners. We chose to write on a theme involving gratitude (or similar) as a tonic for this troubled electoral season.

Here is mine:

Each night before I settle into sleep,
I make a list of what I’m thankful for,
of memories that I would like to keep.

Curled tight against the man whom I adore,
reviewing what occurred during my day,
I listen as my sweetheart starts to snore

and count my blessings. First, there is the way
my lover loves me, metaphoric warts
and all. Then there’s my kids, who live away

from home, but who’ve developed as the sort
of people anyone would like to know.
Then there’s the cat—my sweet familiar. Short

as this list is, it fills me with its glow.
And always, there is room for it to grow.

Here are the links to my lovely poetry sisters' work:

Laura: "When Hope is Not Easy (Wait, is this an election poem?)"
Liz: "Gratitude in Rhyme" and "Half Empty or Half Full?"
Sara: "A Terza Rima for the Poetry Seven"
Tanita: "paean"
Tricia: "Untitled Terza Rima"

You can reach today's Poetry Friday roundup by clicking the box below (which takes you to Laura's post - she's pulling double duty today).

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sara Lewis Holmes
Nov. 4th, 2016 07:41 pm (UTC)
I loved your last line before, but now I also see that it's a comment on the poetry form itself! (How did I not get that earlier??) Anyhow, a small, good (very good) list. Cherish it all and leave room for growth---that's IT right there.
Nov. 6th, 2016 07:24 pm (UTC)
I didn't mean it as a commentary on the form, though it turns out it is . . .
TS Davis
Nov. 4th, 2016 07:46 pm (UTC)
Hygge is the word
Another poet today reminded me of the wonderful Danish word hygge, which is a perfect descriptor for this poem. It's so cozy -- the moment before sleep, the warm snorer, the purring kitty... lovely.
Nov. 6th, 2016 07:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Hygge is the word
I love the word "hygge" - and we are coming into that time of year, too.
Nov. 4th, 2016 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yes! I love this, Kelly. So plainspoken and easy to read and cutting right to the heart of what matters--like an Amish spear, if Amish people used spears. Ya know?
Nov. 6th, 2016 07:25 pm (UTC)
"like an Amish spear, if Amish people used spears" made me laugh out loud- but I do know what you mean, and thank you!
Mary Lee Hahn
Nov. 6th, 2016 01:38 pm (UTC)
Love that last line! Hope lives there.
Nov. 6th, 2016 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you Mary Lee!
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Nov. 7th, 2016 12:33 am (UTC)
I love that you've chosen to use this form to count your blessings. The fact that they are simple and true makes them that much more profound. You've also encouraged me to count my blessings. Thank you for this.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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