It’s Day Fifteen, everyone. We’re halfway through NaPoWriMo!

Our featured journal for today is White Whale Review, which has published work by NaPoWriMo-er Jay Snodgrass. White Whale Review is currently reading for its sixth issue. Check out their submission guidelines here.

Today’s featured participant is Optional Poetry. There’s a tender resignation to Day 11’s anacreontic poem that I really enjoyed.

And now our (optional) prompt! Today, I challenge you to write a poem in terza rima. This form was invented by Dante, and used in The Divine Comedy. It consists of three-line stanzas, with a “chained” rhyme scheme. The first stanza is ABA, the second is BCB, the third is CDC, and so on. No particular meter is necessary, but English poets have tended to default to iambic pentameter (iambic pentameter is like the Microsoft Windows of English poetry). One common way of ending a terza rima poem is with a single line standing on its own, rhyming with the middle line of the preceding three-line stanza.

Here’s a short example of a fairly contemporary poem in terza rima:


I read how Quixote in his random ride
Came to a crossing once, and lest he lose
The purity of chance, would not decide

Whither to fare, but wished his horse to choose.
For glory lay wherever he might turn.
His head was light with pride, his horse’s shoes

Were heavy, and he headed for the barn.

— Richard Wilbur

Happy writing!

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