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A Tritina is a type of poem that consists of tercets. A Tercet is three lines of a verse that rhyme with one another. They may also rhyme by rhyming with another tercet. A Tritina has three as well as a final line. This totals a Tritina at ten lines. A Tritina repeats the final words of the tercet into the other two, so all three consist of the same final word and rhyme. However, the end words are rearranged in a specific order so the first would be 1/2/3. The second one would be 3/1/2. The final tercet would be 2/3/1. The concluding line in a Tritina would then incorporate all the final words of the tercets, once again specifically in the order of 1/2/3.

A Tritina does not need a specific syllable count in order to be one, but it is recommended that a decent and consistent scheme would be included in order to provide a better flow. 

The Tritina is a modern form created by cutting down the Sestina. Like a Sestina this form repeats the end words of each stanza. The form is made up of three triplets these use an end word order of 1-2-3,3-1-2,2-3-1. After the triplets comes an envoi constructed from a single line. All four end words must appear in this envoi in the order 1-2-3.

  1 2 3          - End words of lines in first tercet.
  3 1 2          - End words of lines in second tercet.
  2 3 1          - End words of lines in third tercet.
  (1 2 3)        - Words contained in the final line.


Tritina for Susannah

By David Yezzi

The water off these rocks is green and cold.
The sandless coast takes the tide in its mouth,
as a wolf brings down a deer or lifts its child.
I walked this bay before you were my child.
Your fingers stinging brightly in the cold,
I take each one and warm it in my mouth.
Though I’ve known this shore for years, my mouth
holds no charms of use to you, my child.
You will have to learn the words to ward off cold
and know them cold, child, in your open mouth. 

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