Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus
  • Announcements

    • tonyv

      Registration -- to join PMO ***UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS***   03/14/2017

      Automatic registration has been disabled. If you would like to join the Poetry Magnum Opus online community, use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page and follow these instructions: 1. Check your email (including your spam folder) in a timely fashion for a reply. 2. After you receive a reply, use the "Sign Up" link at the top right corner of the page to create your account. Do this fast. I've lost my patience with people who use the "Contact Us" link to express interest in joining and then don't bother to check their email for a reply and don't bother to join after registration has been enabled. The queue fills up fast with spammers, and I have to spend my time sifting through the rubbish to delete them. The window of opportunity for joining will be short. I will not have my time wasted. If you don't check your email and you don't bother registering promptly, you will find that registration has been disabled and your future requests to join may go ignored. /s/ Tony ___________________ [Registration will only be enabled for a short while from the time your message is received, so please check your email for a reply and register within 12 hours of using the "Contact Us" link. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see a reply to your message.)]
    • tonyv

      IMPORTANT: re Logging In to PMO ***Attention Members***   03/15/2017

      For security purposes, please use your email address when logging in to the site. This will prevent your account from being locked when malicious users try to log in to your account using your publicly visible display name. If you are unable to log in, use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.
    • tonyv

      Blogs   05/01/2017

      Blogs are now accessible to Guests. Guests may read and reply to blog entries. We'll see how this works out. If Guest participation becomes troublesome, I'll disable Guest access. Members are encouraged to make use of the PMO Members' Promotional Blog to promote their published works. Simply add your latest entry to the blog. Include relevant information (your name or screen name, poem title, periodical name, hyperlink to the site where published, etc). If you have a lot of them and feel you need your own blog, let me know, and I will try to accommodate you. Members are encouraged to continue also posting their promotional topics in the Promotions forum on the board itself which is better suited for archiving promotions.
Sign in to follow this  

Tenso or Tenzone Tercet

Recommended Posts

Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Italian Verse

Tenso or Tenzone, is "an argument in formal verse", usually in the abstract. It is written as a verbal exchange almost like a competition. Although no specific structural pattern is prescribed, it is stanzaic with the formal frame at the discretion of the poet. It is often written in tercets or in sonnet form. The Tenso or Tenzone was popular among court troubadours in 12th century Italy in which two opponents would speak alternate stanzas. The looser French version of the Tenso is the Débat.

The elements of the Tenso or Tenzone are:

  1. stanzaic, often written in tercets or the quatorzain of the sonnet, but ultimately the frame of the stanza including # of lines, meter and rhyme are at the discretion of the poet.
  2. Sometimes the poem is written by two poets, taking opposing views.
  3. an argument, an exchange of ideas from stanza to stanza.
    The Weighing by Rex Allen Brewer                           

    Son, we meet again the third time,
    convicted you owe your life,
    a life devoted full to crime.

    "Sir, but what did he do? What hurt?
    A bicycle, a child's toy.
    No one lies dying in the dirt.

    A mother slaves the day and night.
    Buys her child a bike that's new.
    This man takes it. Can that be right?

    But Sir, must we not weigh the sin,
    to find the proper measure?
    No steel crime here, just worthless tin.

    Steel, it's true can pierce the heart,
    yet tin leaves a jagged wound.
    Law and Reason by Judi Van Gorder

    The law is set at three strikes,
    a third time felon serves life,
    it's meant to plug holes in dykes.

    Where is the room for reason?
    The crime is not measured by degree,
    the question begs a new season.

    Everyone deserves another chance,
    but the people's patience stops at three.
    Crime is a boil that needs a lance.

    A life should not be thrown away,
    bad choices and mistakes are made,
    and circumstance confers a sway.

    Society sets its boundaries,
    sometimes at the cost of one.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  


Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.