Monotetra: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write the monotetra, a poetic form developed by Michael Walker that is comprised of quatrains with a refrain, including guidelines for the form and an example poem.
Author:
Publish date:

The monotetra is a poetic form developed by Michael Walker. Here are the basic rules:

  • Comprised of quatrains (four-line stanzas) in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of 8 syllables per line
  • Each quatrain consists of mono-rhymed lines (so each line in the first stanza has the same type of rhyme, as does each line in the second stanza, etc.)
  • The final line of each stanza repeats the same four syllables
  • This poem can be as short as one quatrain and as long as a poet wishes

Personally, I like the rhyme scheme and the repetitive final line of each stanza. I also appreciate the flexibility of this form in terms of how long or short the poem can be.

*****

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 monotetra:

"The view from up here"

We found a rock on the hilltop
that we used as reason to stop
and talk about our school's sock hop--
where music pops, where music pops.

She told me I should learn to dance,
but I was concerned with romance
and wanted to make an advance--
she said, "No chance;" she said, "No chance."

Writer's Digest March/April 2021 Cover featuring Carmen Maria Machado

Writer's Digest March/April 2021 Issue Reveal

The March/April 2021 issue of Writer's Digest is showing up in mailboxes and will soon be available at retailers. Get a sneak peek of the new columns we're introducing with the expanded page count!

How to Co-Author a Book: Building Continuity and Avoiding Pitfalls

How to Co-Author a Book: Building Continuity and Avoiding Pitfalls

Co-authors Simon Turney and Gordon Doherty share their top 5 tips for collaborating with another author on a project.

Bonnie Marcus: On Being Vulnerable in Nonfiction

Bonnie Marcus: On Being Vulnerable in Nonfiction

Award-winning entrepreneur and executive coach Bonnie Marcus shares what it was like to write her prescriptive nonfiction book Not Done Yet.

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes and Dialogue

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes and Dialogue

In this article, author and trained fighter Carla Hoch answers a writer's question about how to handle dialogue during a fight scene, including pros and cons to having dialogue at all.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Trying to Write for Everyone

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Trying to Write for Everyone

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is trying to write for everyone.

Poetic Forms

Ekprhasis (or Ekphrastic Poetry): Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at ekphrasis (or ekphrastic poetry) and the art of writing poems about other pieces of art.

5 Tips for Evoking Emotion in Writing

5 Tips for Evoking Emotion in Writing

Bestselling author Rebecca Yarros coaches writers on how to create believable emotion in this article.

40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers: Writing Ideas for Bending Your Stories in New Directions, by Robert Lee Brewer

Announcing 40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers!

Learn more about 40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers: Writing Ideas for Bending Stories in New Directions, by Writer's Digest Senior Editor Robert Lee Brewer. Discover fun and interesting ways to move your stories from beginning to end.

The Story That Drove Me to Write

The Story That Drove Me to Write

Award-winning author Stephanie Kane shares the book that launched her career and provides insights for how you can pursue your story.