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The terza rima is a traditional poetic form whose most renowned offspring is Dante's 'The Divine Comedy' (ca. 1300).
Obviously it wasn't first written in English, but it works just as well and is very pleasant in my opinion, especially when it's read aloud/performed.

The form is best written in iambic pentameter:
The sheep was killed by wings of fire and ice;
(the SHEEP | was KILLED | by WINGS | of FIRE | and ICE)

And yes, I know that example is horrible, but it gets the point across

The rhyming scheme is as follows:
a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, e-e

Here is an example from Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind':

O wild West Wing, thou breath of Autumn's being, (a)
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead (b)
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, (a)

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, (b)
Pestilence stricken multitudes: O thou (c)
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed (b)

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, (c)
Each like a corpse within its grave, until (d)
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow (c)

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill (d)
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) (e)
With living hues and odours plain and hill: (d)

Wild spirit, which art moving everywhere; (e)
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear! (e)

It's a fiddly form, but it's a lovely one and definitely one of my favourites. Give it a shot!
Thanks to ~infiltrator15 for this wonderful write up.
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TheFlawedOne Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
Good info will we be blessed with a write up on villanelles? They are my favs.
poetic-forms Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2004   Writer

We have a write-up on villanelles already. :D There's the link to it.
TheFlawedOne Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
Oh cool! Thanks!!
Koukris Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2004
Boy! This sounds fun! :D hehe...I read Dante's Divine Comedy! But in English...XD
jl Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2004  Professional Writer
I must admit I probably won't manage to write one in the remaining week of this month... but I really enjoy rhyme schemes as tangled up as this, and I love writing in iambic pentameter... so I'll definitively keep this one in reserve for times of need of inspiration! :-)
MyLittleBlackHeart Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2004
I'm up for it aswell.
Been feeling extremely poetic these past days, it's going to fun!
goji Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2004   Writer
Well i saw this form and right away wrote a poem for it, hope it turns out well.
poetic-forms Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2004   Writer
I'm sure it will! :D
RebeccaA Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2003
I am up for it. It can't be too much worse than the Luc Bat, which I also enjoy :)
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Submitted on
September 5, 2003
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