Types of Poetry Forms: Quatern

Publish date:

Today, I tried my hand at a new (to me) French poetic form 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.

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.

Want to Try Your Hand at the Types of Poems on This Blog?

It's as easy as pasting your poem in the comments below. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how many take part and the kind of encouragement you'll likely receive.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer and check out my personal blog, My Name Is Not Bob.


The Poetry Dictionary cover

Learn more about poetic forms...

...with the assistance of The Poetry Dictionary, by John Drury. This essential desk reference for poets shares poetic forms, poetic terms, history of poetry, schools of poetry, and more.

Click to continue.