A tercet is a stanza of poetry with three lines; it can be a single-stanza poem or it can be a verse embedded in a larger poem. A tercet can have several rhyme schemes, or might not have any lines of poetry that rhyme at all. The poets use minimal language to convey an idea or a thought in a tercet.

There are five types of Tercet in poetry :

  • Triplet : A triplet is a tercet that has three rhyming lines. This configuration is labeled as AAA.
  • Haiku : Originally from Japanese poetry, a haiku is a three-line poem without a rhyme. In Japan, poets historically wrote haikus to create imagery around the themes of nature and the seasons.
  • Enclosed Tercet : A tercet with a rhyme scheme of ABA, where only the first and third lines rhyme.
  • Sicilian Tercet : A Sicilian tercet is a more rhythmically-structured enclosed tercet and is written in iambic pentameter—a ten-syllable count.
  • Terza Rima : While other stanzas can stand on their own, a terza rima is built on interdependent tercets. The first stanza is an envelope tercet or ABA. The middle line of the first stanza rhymes with the first and third lines of the second stanza, and so on, for a rhyme scheme of ABA BCB CDC. Stanzas are woven together creating interlocking tercets.

Hop on to the poem Street Talks which is a collection of unrhymed tercets.

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