Apr 15, 2010


A Quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains. It is similar to the Kyrielle and the Retourne. This form does not have a set meter but each line must have eight syllables. There is also a descending repeated line throughout the poem. Line 1 repeats as line 2 in the second verse, again as line 3 in the third verse and once more as line 4 in the fourth verse. There are only four four-line verses in this form. Rhymes are not a requirement and if one is used then the rhyme scheme or rhyming pattern is entirely up to the poet.

To recap, the requirements of the Quatern are:

1) It must have four verses.
2) Each verse must have four lines.
3) Each line must have eight syllables.
4) It must have a first line which is a descending repeated line.

line 1
line 2
line 3
line 4

line 5
line 6 (line 1)
line 7
line 8

line 9
line 10
line 11 (line 1)
line 12

line 13
line 14
line 15
line 16 (line 1)

Even though this form isn’t required to rhyme, my example just seemed to do so naturally. What can I say, rhyming’s in my blood. ;-)


On summer nights the moonlight sings
And seeks you out on phantom wings
Inviting you to come and play
Beneath the stars till light of day.

No matter what tomorrow brings
On summer nights the moonlight sings.
Will you deny the siren’s song
As it entices you along?

Feel the grass underneath your feet
Its wafting scent is summer sweet.
On summer nights the moonlight sings
And promises fantastic things.

The air is warm, the moon is bright
Can any soul resist this night?
In far-flung lands, in faerie rings,
On summer nights the moonlight sings.


Jamie D. said...

Okay - now I just want to play in the moonlight...but it's not warm enough yet. LOL

Lovely, enticing poem this week. I really like that form. :-)

C R Ward said...

Thank you, Jamie. :-)

I actually liked working in this form more that I thought I would.