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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Quatern Winner

One of the great joys of these poetic form challenges is having the ability to see how poets don't just write a poem that has a certain set of rules, but instead, how they use those rules to their advantage to write something incredible--whether it's a form poem or not. Such is the case for the quatern.

The quatern challenge ended last night, and it's been great reading all day for me. I'm happy to report that the winner is Bruce Niedt for his quatern "Purple Heart." Here's the poem:

Purple Heart, by Bruce Niedt

I gave away your clothes last week.
A truck rolled up and took six bags
to some forsaken warehouse where
they’d be passed on to people who

cannot afford to buy them new.
I gave away your clothes. Last week
I couldn’t stand the closet full
of coats and dresses, hung like ghosts

and so I yanked them off their racks,
stuffed plastic bags with memories
I gave away. Your clothes, last week,
went to a world that never knew

how fine you were, how beautiful
in that red dress, that silken blouse
some stranger walks the street in now.
I gave away your clothes last week.


I think you'll agree that this poem is beautiful. But that's not to say that the decision was easy. There were several great poems, and I think if you go back and check out the remainder of the Top 10 that you'll find some wonderful examples of the quatern.

Here's my top 10 quatern list:

  1. "Purple Heart," by Bruce Niedt
  2. "Guillotine," by Patricia A. Hawkenson
  3. "We were both young, once," by Khara H.
  4. "Another round with dad," by Daniel Ari
  5. "Among the Trees," by Jane Shlensky
  6. "Heart strings," by Jay Sizemore
  7. "A Curiosity," by RJ Clarken
  8. "Summer Sisters," by Laurie Kolp
  9. "Selah," by De Jackson
  10. "Innocent as Lambs," by Taylor Graham

Congratulations to everyone in the Top 10! And thank you to everyone who participated in this challenge! Believe me, there are always more than 10 poems that make my initial short list, and I love reading everything--even the comments you leave each other.

Another challenge should be up before we get into April (and all the poeming that comes with April).


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


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