Monday, April 4, 2022

Day 4 - Quatrain

Welcome to Day 4 ~ Let’s write a poem that has FOUR lines!! Right?

Lots of poems fit that requirement but we will do a “quatrain” today. The word quatrain is derived from the French word for the number four: quatre

Obviously, it has four lines. (Tomorrow we will do a Pensee, which has five lines and is one of my all-time favorite poetry forms). OKAY, enough chatter. Here’s what you need to know about a “quatrain poem” ~

Each quatrain has four lines with a specific rhyming pattern, BUT there are lots of rhyming patterns out there. Basically, depending on which source you check, ANY of 12 patterns can work, but the lines with ending words that rhyme SHOULD have the same number of syllables as each other. The most common are AAAA, AABB and ABAB.

SO, if lines 1 & 3 rhyme, and lines 2 & 4 rhyme, you would have an ABAB rhyming pattern. (Each set of rhyming lines should have the same number of syllables).

OR, if lines 1 & 2 rhyme, and lines 3 & 4 rhyme, you would have an AABB rhyming pattern. (Again, rhyming lines should have the same number of syllables).

The actual “quatrain” is ONE verse – but you can always string a bunch of them together to create a “quatrain poem” which can have any number of quatrains in it, including just one.

In fact, you most likely already have a quatrain poem memorized. “Roses are Red” would be a prime example of a quatrain, with an ABCB pattern.


You can also use an AAAA, an AABB, or AABA, or BBCB or basically whatever – but the ending words should rhyme with each other in one pattern or another and whichever ones rhyme with each other, should have the same number of syllables.


Many hymns are quatrains and most of Emily Dickenson’s poems were made up of quatrains.


It may sound like a lot to think about but most Nursery Rhymes are quatrains – it’s not that hard ~ give it a shot. J


If for some reason, you DO want to complicate things – you can check out the NUMEROUS variations found on this website:




He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.

    -- © Edwin Markham (American Poet, April 23, 1852 – March 7, 1940)



Here’s an old quatrain of mine ~ It has an AABB pattern and lines 1 & 2 are 8 syllables while lines 3 & 4 are 7 syllables:



You wonder where I’ve been all day.

I must admit, it’s hard to say.

Over here and over there.

I guess I’ve been everywhere.

       © 2014 Stephanie Abney


And here’s a new 2-verse for this year, also with an AABB pattern:

It seems I have raging A.D.D.
My “to-do” list is a sight to see.
I start one thing, then switch to something new.
I am exhausted when the day is through!
There are ways I have learned to cope,
I sort things in a different tote.
One for reading and one for art,
I’ve so many totes, where to start?

        © 2022 Stephanie Abney


Okay – whatcha’ got for quatrains?


PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright to them as soon as they post them. Thanks so much!

Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or your FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO THIS BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work.

1 comment:

Heidi L. Murphy said...

Here is my quatrain: