Thursday, 8 March 2007

Terza Rima---Circling...Poetry Thursday

When Poetry Thursday asked us all to write about the colour red, this was what formed in my mind.

I needed to write this terza rima as I needed to discipline my mind. Lately I have had too many thoughts in my mind. I need to school that and concentrate on mundane stuff. Not easy, I know. So here I go....

Terza rima is a three-line stanza using chain rhyme in the pattern a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d. There is no limit to the number of lines, but poems or sections of poems written in terza rima end with either a single line or couplet repeating the rhyme of the middle line of the final tercet. The two possible endings for the example above are d-e-d, e or d-e-d, e-e. There is no set rhythm for terza rima, but in English, iambic pentameters are generally preferred. I follow the rhyming pattern but iambic pentameters go above my head!

The piece I write is what is happening right now with us teachers. Annual examinations are going on. Along with that comes evaluation of answersheets. I have written about the dilemma a teacher faces while evaluation.Some answers are to be read to be believed. They would have got awards for innovative ideas if it was not for the examinations. I don't have time to edit it. So I am posting it here as it is for now. I am not satisfied with the title. So I welcome suggestions for that..


Terza Rima---Circling

looking at those filled answer sheets,
with not much of a space in between;
finding correct responses is no mean feat.

each word to be read, each sentence to be seen
in all that haywire, nothing being decipherable;
unless wading through for what would have been.

nuggets of knowledge if those were but visible
by some magical force hitherto unknown;
to the examiner who by this time trembles

with the prospect of new ideas been thrown;
too bizarre to understand; to fully comprehend,
to be absorbed, assimilated, with a frown.

with resignation , thinking with her head
she takes out her pen, finally circling those red.


For more on the topic, click roses are..


  1. Interesting that you'd had difficulties too with your link on the Poetry Thursday site...

    Anyway, your poem, I like terza rima and it is a good discipline to use a form like this. I like what you did with it too. The power of the teacher's red pen...

  2. I doff my hat to you, ma'am.

  3. i learned
    something new!

    terza rima, i might try that..

  4. Yes, crafty. But now I do find my link out there! Strange!

    This is my third terza rima. Someday I am going to try a of the most difficult forms.

    buffalo: lol! Thanks!

    Kai: Do try this out!

  5. This is really neat. I like the pattern and the sense of something approaching. The red pen.

    Thanks for your comments on my poem.



  6. I must say, I have written seven Sestina, but this form scares me.

    I love the pace though and I can see the way it's constructed,but I can't quite figure it out.

  7. i like this. powerful ending!

  8. Wonderful use of the terza rima form & use of the Red prompt! JP

  9. oh this takes me back
    i haven't used a red pen for several years now
    (i'm very glad to say)

  10. I must come back and learn this because my allergies are causing a brain freeze. I enjoyed the out come and loved that you showed me something new.

    I like how you incorporated your exams :)

  11. I often correct the English of my collegues in red pen. They cringe when they see the ink, as it reminds them of school. Very original evocation of red!

  12. What a unique combination of ideas. Cool form, I'll have to try that out. I still use red pen sometimes to edit my own stories, but anything that brings up memories of school just makes me shudder.

  13. Finely woven, which is what this form demands.

    And your poem tells me to go back to grading, but your poem also tells me to read more poetry. Guess which I'll do . . . .

  14. How adventuresome you are trying the terza rima form. I like the line, "thinking with her head..."

  15. I like TR too, but could never be as disciplined as you have proven yourself to be. Nice...

  16. Honestly I had never heard of terza rima before now, so you are obviously a born teacher... It was interesting to read your reflections on evaluating other people's work, and the infamous circling in red. Thanks.

  17. my mom and a few of my friends are teachers so I know how true your words are. a great poem reflecting the dillema faced by teachers that don't really want to fail their students

  18. I applaud you taking on a form like this. And I can really connect to your poem...I have to start giving our big test next week. All those pesky bubbles.

  19. Fabulous! Sadly, a very familiar story to most teachers.

  20. Thanks for explaining the terza rima. I too loved the ending.

  21. I think I like this terza rima,

    I will definitely find an opportunity to give it a go.

    Trying to take time to find rhyme and reason to some of the answers but hampered by time constraints forcing you to use the dreaded red ink. Well done.

  22. Thanks for the instruction in terza rima--looks like a challenge. And I think you did it well.

  23. oh I loved it and thanks for the info, had never seen this form before..really enjoyed your take on the prompt this week..thanks for the stop by and not using your red care..m

  24. Very cool! The form is like a braid! Braided lines...
    Ah, yes, the power of the teacher's red pen....

    I have done a couple of sestinas, but never tried the terza rima.

  25. A great take on the subject of red. The power of the red pen wielded reluctantly .

  26. this sounds like good discipline and I learn more about poetry

  27. I love the title ..and enjoyed reading the poem as well


  28. One could muse forever on why papers are corrected with red ink. Good variation on the theme.

  29. It's funny that I was so immersed in the lovely language of grading the papers that I forgot about the subject of red - those last two lines are perfect and were such a welcome surprise!

    I like the form, I may have to give it a shot myself...

  30. using convetions create beautiful poems...but sometimes I dont have the patience to learn it...hemm..maybe some poems simply come from the heart.

    the poem is very nice, very organized and easy to read.

  31. Wow- what you teachers must go through! "nuggets of knowledge if those were but visible" this was my favorite line...

  32. great use of the form, also very authentic (from one teacher to another.) :)

  33. I went through a terza rima phase, trying to be the next Dante. I just wasn't very good. But you are!

  34. great job there, gautami! with your work and this post.

    it's good to try traditional forms of poetry. i've been trying a villanelle, and it's still sitting in my PC unfinished after months. :)

  35. Hello! How are you?
    This work is very good, thank you
    have nice wkend

  36. Sorry for the delay in thanking you all. I was out of circulation for two days.

    Glad to see that my terza rima was appreciated.

    I will go nd chk all of your work. Just give me a day or two.

    dsnake1, my villanelle is lying incompleted since two years. Very difficult form..

  37. Thanks for showing the form. I can see how the evaluation time at school is creeping in.