Skip to main content

Quatern: Poetic Forms

Robert Lee Brewer explains the quatern, a poetic form that employs refrains and eight-syllable lines in four quatrains.

Today, I tried my hand at a new (to me) French poetic form named the quatern that incorporates a refrain like in the villanelle and eight-syllable lines like in the kyrielle. Since I'm a big fan of refrains, I think this poetic form rocks.

Quatern Poetic Form Rules

  1. This poem has 16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas).
  2. Each line is comprised of eight syllables.
  3. The first line is the refrain. In the second stanza, the refrain appears in the second line; in the third stanza, the third line; in the fourth stanza, the fourth (and final) line.
  4. There are no rules for rhyming or iambics.

*****

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.

*****

My attempt at a Quatern:

as the sun set in the forest, by Robert Lee Brewer

as the sun set in the forest,
she slipped out of her slip. she left
it on a branch and then asked me
to follow. her bells became stars.

when the boomerang moon melted,
as the sun set in the forest,
her trail went cold. i tried to find
which way but only the raven

knows. the moon caught a glimpse of sun
but shadow clouds surrounded her
as the sun set in the forest.
there was nothing i could explain.

she was naked and i was scared
of not having her promises,
not that i could ever keep them,
as the sun set in the forest.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Dismissing Stories That Aren’t From Books

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Dismissing Stories That Aren’t From Books

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 is dismissing stories that aren’t from books.

Why You Should Beware Homophones

Why You Should Beware Homophones

Mistaking a word for a similar one is not an uncommon mistake, but an important one to catch when editing your work. Here, Audrey Wick shares why you should beware homophones and shares a homophone-catching test to practice with.

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.