An example of a tercet poem is a haiku, a verse with three lines in which the first and last rhyme or a verse within a terza rima, where the rhyme scheme is interlocked between verses. A tercet is a verse of three lines. An example comes from Shakespeare with all three lines rhyming: "Death is now the phoenix’ nest; And the turtle’s loyal breast, To eternity doth rest,…"
The haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that relies on the number of syllables in each of three lines rather than using a rhyme scheme. In a haiku, the first line usually has five syllables, followed by a second line of seven and a third line of five. The haiku is an image-based poems in which the picture the poet paints allows the reader to come to intellectual and emotional conclusions about the poem's topic.
English-based poetry has a number of three-lined formats that usually include both rhyme and meter. In the case of a longer poem being made up of tercets, the author tries to write so that each verse is somewhat self-contained even if it pertains to a larger topic. In other words, the poetic topic requires the three-line format, and the three-line format contributes significantly to the meaning of the poem.