Terzanelle Definition

A terzanelle (pronounced tur-zuh-nell) is a poetry form which is a combination of the villanelle and the terza rima. It is nineteen lines total, with five triplets and a concluding quatrain. It uses the interlocked rhyme pattern of a terza rima but in the villanelle’s form of five triplets and a quatrain.


A terzanelle is a form of poetry that combines elements of other types of poetry, namely; it combines the villanelle and the terza rima forms. The terzanelle is 19 lines long and is made up of five triplets as well as one quatrain at the conclusion. 

The middle segments in this poem are composed of triplet stanzas where and first and third lines are repeated. The second and final lines of this quatrain need to rhyme as well. There can be an alternative pattern when it comes to the end couplet of the rhyme scheme. 

When writing the terzanelle, it is essential to pay attention to grammatical rules. The first line of the poem starts off with ABA and The second line is bCB. 

Terzanelle Poem Example

This is Lewis Turco's "Terzanelle in Thunderweather"

This is the moment when shadows gather
under the elms, the cornices and eaves.
This is the center of thunderweather.

The birds are quiet among these white leaves
where wind stutters, starts, then moves steadily
under the elms, the cornices, and eaves--

these are our voices speaking guardedly
about the sky, of the sheets of lightning
where wind stutters, starts, then moves steadily

into our lungs, across our lips, tightening
our throats. Our eyes are speaking in the dark
about the sky, of the sheets of lightening

that illuminate moments. In the stark
shades we inhibit, there are no words for
our throats. Our eyes are speaking in the dark

of things we cannot say, cannot ignore.
This is the moment when shadows gather,
shades we inhibit. There are no words, for
this is the center of thunderweather.

Top 5 Terzanelle Poem Examples

PMPoem TitlePoetFormCategories
Premium Member Poem September Dietrich, Andrea Terzanellenature, sad, sun, time,
Threshold of Madness Lane, Lin Terzanelledeath, fear,
Premium Member Poem Without Hope's Gleam Dietrich, Andrea Terzanelleflower, hope, joy, paradise,
Premium Member Poem I Pass the Graveyard Cozart, Dale Gregory Terzanelledeath, sad love, winter,
Premium Member Poem Autumn Colors Pandit, Vijay Terzanelleautumn,

No standard definition found.

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