Hats – Terza Rima

   In my discovery of the different forms of poetry,  I came across the Terza Rima.  This is my first attempt using this form.  Hope it reads well.  I have included its description of the form below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it. A  bit singy-songy I fear.
I have worn several hats throughout the years;
reflecting different roles I played each day.
Subjective meanings – kept as souvenirs.
A feathered birthday hat inviting play;
adorned year after year with no delay –
another wish on candles if I may?
A mournful hat weeps sadness of betray –
A smoke-stained cap that kissed a Reggae song –
A lover’s chapeau which will never stray.
There was a hat I dared not keep for long;
’cause it belonged to the quick stepping cop –
who chased me for the mischief I did wrong.
My favorite hat sold never in a shop,
uniting words on paper to be sung:
A Poet’s hat worn ’till the last ink drop.
Such memories in hats when I was young,
show steps of life upon each ladder’s rung.


☮TheMsLvh © 2011
Image: Hats on Ladder image by DecoDanny courtesy Google Images

Creative Commons License
California Ink In Motion by TheMsLvh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License



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 pentameter is generally preferred.


The first known use of terza rima is in Dante’s Divina Commedia. In creating the form, Dante may have been influenced by the lyric form used by the Provençal troubadours. The three-line pattern may have been intended to suggest the Holy Trinity. Inspired by Dante, other Italian poets, including Petrarch and Boccaccio, began using the form.

The first English poet to write in terza rima was Geoffrey Chaucer, who used it for his Complaint to His Lady. Although a difficult form to use in English because of the relative paucity of rhyme words available in a language which has, in comparison with Italian, a more complex phonology, terza rima has been used by Milton, Byron (in his Prophecy of Dante) and Shelley (in his Ode to the West Wind and The Triumph of Life). Thomas Hardy also used the form of meter in ‘Friends Beyond’ to interlink the characters and continue the flow of the poem. A number of 20th-century poets also employed the form. These include Archibald MacLeish, W. H. Auden, Andrew Cannon, William Carlos Williams, T. S. Eliot, Derek Walcott, Clark Ashton Smith, James Merrill, Robert Frost and Richard Wilbur. [Information source :Wikipedia]

  1. September 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Good fun, though you are economical with your rhyme, C equalling B. Given your liking for the sonnet, I laughed when I saw your title – a traditional terza rima is also a sonnet!

    • September 9, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Hey, I gave it a shot. When there is a student, the teacher will arrive! I wanted a light -hearted theme. Glad it made you laugh! I will probably play with this when time permits. XO

  2. September 9, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Oh how I like this one.

    “A smoke-stained cap that kissed a Reggae song ” what a wonderful line !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Chased by a cop??????? Such an interesting woman you are :)

  3. September 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    This is great! Very playful and carefree! Well done!

  4. September 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    What a fun post and an interesting life you led.
    Hmm…chased by a quick stepping cop…naughty, naughty!


    My entry’s here:
    Under Blinking Stars

  5. September 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Nice and cheeky. Well done with the form! A little cheek with Rhyme B equalling C, but I’m definitely intrigued by the Quick Stepping Cop. Sounds like you stole his cover/hat and ran off! :-)

  6. September 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    This is so well done it is very playful and carefree. thanks for sharing

  7. September 10, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Love this style of poetry, sonnet/terza rima – it’s a challenge to get into the flow of writing it but I find that the outcome is always beautiful sounding. Yours is very beautiful too – loved it!

    Thanks for sharing :)


  8. September 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I enjoyed reading this lighthearted poem and love the form (I must try it). Clever use of the hats symbolising different phases of life. Well written :)

  9. September 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    lovely imagery,
    love the usage of words. have fun in the rally.

  10. September 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I like the rhythm of it. I also like that you keep searching out and trying new forms. Every form adds something to your skill.

  11. September 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    This is really fun–life told through hats. Have more studying to do before I can give this a try. I’m still trying to get a grip on iambic pentameter–I’ve got a ways to go yet. : )

  12. September 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    wow, nice job making hats as memory markers. i love the idea. enjoyed reading it.

    here is my entry: http://wp.me/pTDjw-qx

  13. September 12, 2011 at 6:37 am

    a cute perspective,

    very well written.


  14. September 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Love the chapeau and the reggae touches. I’ll bet the latter still smells of the good stuff! This was fanciful, and the image of a “hat ladder,” very nice. Loved it! Amy

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