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: http://www.thepoetsgarret.com/quatrain.html
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.
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:
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?
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