Skip to main content

Bref Double: Poetic Form

The bref double, a fourteen-line French poetic form, is explained, including how to handle its A-B-C rhyme pattern, syllables, quatrains, and concluding couplet.

I've always been an admirer of French poetic forms, and I'm really digging the unusual flexibility offered with the bref double. It's a quatorzain, which is any stanza or poem of 14 lines that is not a sonnet.

(Common Poetry Terms.)

Here are the rules for a bref double:

  • 4 stanzas: 3 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas) and 1 couplet (or 2-line stanza)
  • 3 rhymes: an A rhyme, B rhyme, and C rhyme
  • The A and B rhymes appear twice in the first 3 stanzas and once each in the couplet
  • The C rhyme is the final line in each of the quatrains
  • Each poem has a variable line length, but the lines should be consistent within each poem

*****

The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

*****

Here's my attempt at a bref double:

"dayton"

he lived in a city
made of elevators
and dead end alleyways
all was a box or trap

even the kids knew life
by its fistfights and strays
cats and dogs chased across
the corporation map

his first kiss was a lie
but one that was pretty
his teenage love affairs
flew through him in a snap

leaving him with gritty
women and one-act plays

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, one character blackmails another.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts From 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Get all 30 poetry prompts from the 15th annual November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge here. Actually, 35 prompts if you're counting Two-for-Tuesday prompts!

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

Many people are self-professed "stalkers" on social media, whether they're following life events of friends or celebrities. But writers can learn quite a bit on social media by stalking publishing professionals too, and this post covers the appropriate way to do so.

Vérant

Samantha Vérant: On Romance and Recipes

Author Samantha Vérant discusses how her writing process changed while writing her new contemporary romance novel, The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 633

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a warm up poem.

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Every so often writers ask if they should pitch different to agents vs. editors. This post answers that question and provides some extra help on how to successfully pitch both.

Urban Legend

Urban Legend

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, feature an urban legend in your story.

Grose, 12:6

Jessica Grose: On the Unsustainability of Parenting

Opinion writer and author Jessica Grose discusses the complicated subject of modern motherhood in her new nonfiction book, Screaming on the Inside.

Elizabeth Shick: On Research Through Immersion

Elizabeth Shick: On Research Through Immersion

Award-winning novelist Elizabeth Shick discusses the complete rewrite she devoted to her debut novel, The Golden Land.