Whittled Words – Quatern Poem



Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:

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QUATERN POEM

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Today, we try our hands at a new (to me) French poetic form that incorporates a refrain like in a Villanelle, and eight-syllable lines like in a Kyrielle. Although the form is strict in length and form, there are no requirements for rhyme scheme or meter, which makes it fun. And who doesn’t like a good refrain.

Quatern Poetic Form:

  • 16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas).
  • Each line is comprised of eight syllables.
  • 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.
  • There are no rules for rhyming or meter.

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Examples of Quatern Poems:

 

PILLOW TALK WITH ALICE

by teckmerc

 

Two voices play at the game,
Both listen, both speak, the words with no shame.
And on and on and on they go,
The endless banter just seems to flow.

Their words their jokes, so selfsame,
Two voices play at the game.
His subtle joke, the softest poke,
She returns the volley to the bloke.

Playful and gentle, yet passionate,
Feelings through words they do forfeit.
Two voices play at the game,
He strokes her hair and whispers her name.

They tease and play and carry on,
Not wanting to stop, but night goes on,
He pulls her close and both inflame,
Two voices play at the game.

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THE SCENT OF REGRET

by Terry Jordan

I have never been without it
The scent of regret surrounds me
Every mistake I ever made
Is the stench that so confounds me

Soaring heights of anxiety
I have never been without it
Not your garden variety
Plaguing much of society

How I long to be free of it
Unrelenting regret believed
I have never been without it
Dry heaving nightmares unrelieved

Trichinosis, lockjaw strangles
My regret knows all about it
Like Joe Btfsplk’s* cloud dangles
I have never been without it

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LAST BREATH

by Brad Osborne

Expelling our last labored breath

Our laments are sung to heaven

A fear of what may lie beyond

Our frivolous and mortal life

Crying out with hope from above

Expelling our last labored breath

Seeking some grace fall upon us

Yet knowing of each hidden sin

And in the moment, we be judged

Entirety of lives displayed

Expelling our last labored breath

We hope, by grace, we will be saved

Too late it is to change a thing

Only hope we have lived our best

We pray that we shall meet good rest

Expelling our last labored breath

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I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Quatern poem. Thanks for reading!



Comments
10 Responses to “Whittled Words – Quatern Poem”
  1. beth says:

    “We only hope to have done our best “ – yes

  2. jonicaggiano says:

    Very nicely written my kind friend. I like this type of poem and I have never heard of it. I really like all of your stanzas but the last is my favorite.

    However, “And in the moment, we be judged
    Entirety of lives displayed
    Expelling our last labored breath
    We hope, by grace, we will be saved” I think these lines are so lovely and hold on to hope, rather timely.

    I can always count on you to teach me something new. I also liked “The Scent of Regret” as well. Thank you Brad for this gift. Sending lots of love your way. Have an amazing and inspiring day. Yours, Jonikins

  3. Yes, I do hope I’ve done my best…your poem was brilliant, loved the rhythm you created and the images so well adapt to the flow of the poem that you feel the effort and the uselessness of that last breath. Lovely poem and an interesting lesson in today’s whittled words. Enjoy the weekend my friend!

  4. Jim Borden says:

    I like this style, and you did a wonderful job with it. I guess we all hope we have lived our best…

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