Monday, March 1, 2010

Community Poem III: Exquisite Corpse in Terza Rima

Exquisite Corpse in Terza Rima
by the Community

Fall in the river swiftly flowing,
destination completely unknown.
Dragged below, the current not slowing,

but everyday my love for you has grown.
Although you will forever be so small,
just dust and ashes now, not flesh and bone.

A spark, and the darkness over all,
Your light gone to a place we cannot go.
Does hope just give you farther down to fall?

Your death delivered an earth-shattering blow.
A wound which places all past heartbreak to shame
when compared to the daily tears that flow.

I read a book to find your name.
I stumble along, then see it, blurred.
It's yours, but gone, and still the same.

As much as I'm heartbroken that this occurred,
your life means more than most will ever know.
So I will spend my life making your story heard.

Remove the cords and free my child. Now tow
me to the shore or I would drown beneath her weight --
mere pounds in bruised and bluish flesh but tons in mother’s woe.

No prayers left, surrendering to my fate,
I stare in wonder at the tiny grace,
wrap blankets ‘round three hearts and close the gate.

Dark waves fall over the arms housing my empty embrace,
Carrying future to the sea, leaving Grief in its place.


about the poem.
There is an old Surrealist parlor game called the Exquisite Corpse. It is a method of writing a story in which you write a paragraph, fold the paper so that the next person the paper is passed to only sees the last sentence of your paragraph. This poem is the on-line version of an exquisite corpse poem. The piece was written in terza rima form, which is a verse form ABA BCB CDC DED. Each person was instructed to write a three-line stanza rhyming the first and third line with the previous poster's second line, which was the only thing visible in the comments. It was a challenging community poem because of the extreme form of terza rima, which is also traditionally iambic pentameter, and the inability to see the whole poem. I wrote the ending couplet of the poem, which is the traditional ending of a terza rima.

about the contributors.
Contributors by their on-line pseudonym or real life name include: Julie Cozens, Jess of afteriris, Dani819, Beth Davis, Janel, Kat, Audrey, Jenni and Angie.


  1. This is wonderful. I had such good intentions of taking part, but missed the boat. I will next time for sure.
    Well done everyone.

  2. Wow... that turned out to be such a powerful piece... love it..

  3. That was fun Angie, I am looking forward to your next challenge.

  4. Indeed such a moving and powerful piece. Thank you to all that contributed.

  5. Truth? I didn't think we'd pull it off. Well done, Angie, for guiding us through it.

  6. I was very much looking forward to seeing how the poem turned out. What a fun way to start a Monday!

    Thank you, Angie.

  7. neat! thanks for putting this together, angie. i think part of what makes it work so well is that the verses really match in tone and in their heartfelt-quality. which is cool, but also oh so depressing that so many of us feel this way. xo

  8. Fabulous idea Angie, and great job to everyone who shared! It's beautiful and touching.

  9. Wow, I'm really surprised at how well it flows! It truly is a beautiful poem!

    Kat @ In Dylan's Memory

  10. Brilliant brilliant brilliant!

  11. Amazing! It really flows which is what I thought wouldn't happen, but the imagery of flowing water is throughout which is really kinda weird when you find out how it was put together. Great job everyone! And especially great job, Editor!


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