Patterns 'N Poetry, software program for poets, includes the poem form Terza Rima. Dante Alighieri using the Terza Rima form wrote the Divine Comedy. The form had been known before him. The pattern, an interlocking rhyme pattern (aba,bcb,cdc,ded, ee) lends itself to easy memorization and used by troubadours throughout France and Italy in the 11th, 12, and 13th century. Dante made it popular.
Terza Rima , while use by French troubadours,is an Italian open chain rhyme poem format consisting of tercets, three line stanza.. The use of interlocking rhyme from stanza to stanza creates a forward motion to the poem. There is no limit to the number of tercets, but a group of tercets end with a couplet repeating the middle rhyme of the last tercet. Sometimes the poem is sometimes printed no line breaks between the tercets making it difficult to recognize. Dante, in his Divine Comedy did use line breaks. With no line breaks the pattern is often obscure to the reader so in Patterns 'N Poetry line breaks are included in the format. In English, Iambic Pentameter is the preferred choice, but other line lengths can be used as long as all lines are of equal length.
It was introduced into England by Sir Thomas Wyatt in the 16th century. The first English usage was by Chaucer in Complaint to His Lady. The Terza Rima form has been used by Milton, Byron and Shelley.
Chaucer: Complaint to His Lady
Shelley: Ode to the West Wind
In the 20th century poets using this form has included MacLeish, Auden, T.S. Elliot, Robert Frost and Derek Walcott.
Frost:Acquainted With the Night