How to Write a Quatern Poem

 Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it. ― Rumi

Writing poetry can be an amazing liberating experience. It can allow us to go beyond ourselves and touch others in a unique way.

Sometimes though it can be hard to figure out what kind of poem to write or you may want to try a new kind of poem, that’s why I”m sharing how to write a quatern poem today.

A quatern is a French poem that has a refrain. It has sixteen lines and is broken up into four four-line stanzas. Each line has eight syllables, but it doesn’t have to rhyme or have an iambic meter. Then there is the refrain, on the first verse it is the first line, on the second the second line, on the third the third, and on the fourth the fourth and final line. The refrain is just a line that gets repeated in each of the stanzas.

So if that was a bit confusing this is what it looks like:

Refrain
Second line
Third line
Fourth line

First line
Refrain
Third line
Fourth line

First line
Second line
Refrain
Fourth line

First line
Second line
Third line
Refrain

I hope that that makes things a bit more clear to you.

So, now that we have gone over what a quatern is, I’d like to share my method for writing one. Of course, this may not work for you, but it might help so I am putting it in anyways.

The first thing I do is figure out what to write about. This can be anything, although I tend to lean towards writing about nature. I’m not quite sure why. Today I’m writing about a summer morning on one of those days when the day ahead is going to be hot, but in the poem the day is still cool and it seems like it could be the first day in the world. I didn’t mean to go that much into depth in figuring out my topic, but, oh well, this may actually make it easier.

Once I have a topic, depending on the poem I either just plunge in and try to write it, or I’ll write down ideas and things for the poem.

Today I want to just plunge in, but since this poem has a refrain I think that it might be a good idea to figure out what my refrain is before I start actually writing the poem.

In figuring out what my refrain is, I’m trying to find something that works very well with my topic while at the same time being ablt to go with quite a few things, and not being too specific.

This took a little while for me to accomplish, but I have finally decided upon ‘The world is alight with sunshine.’ Although at first I was thinking about something else, but I can’t quite remember the words for that one any more.

Okay, now I am going to just try to write this poem.

Here it is:

A Summer Morning

The world is alight with sunshine
The very day sings for joy and
the flowers are dancing upon
Their stems as leaves admire them

Blue sky seems pale in comparison
The world is alight with sunshine
Clouds cling to the low mountain sides
‘Come outside!’ Everything calls

Birds call me from the window
And I find I must obey them
The world is alight with sunshine
I step outside feeling warm sun

The day is young and beautiful
There is a singing joy in it
Singing a new song for the Lord
The world is alight with sunshine

I hope that this blog post will inspire you to write your own quatern poem. Despite them being quite a bit longer than some of the other poems that I have shared how to write this one is not that difficult.

If you do write a quatern poem, I’d love to read it in the comments!

2 thoughts on “How to Write a Quatern Poem

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