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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry French Verse The Quatern (Latin = 4 each) is a French verse form, possibly from the Middle Ages since it is so close to the Retourne and Kyrielle which also came from that period. The Quatern like so many other French forms employs a refrain. The defining feature is the movement of the refrain within the quatrain from stanza to stanza. The elements of the Quatern are: a verse form, written in 4 quatrains. syllabic, usually written in lines of 8 syllables. rhymed at the poet's discretion. Possible rhyme schemes are Axax xAxa axAx xaxA x being unrhymed and the cap A being the refrain. Or Aabb aAcc ddAa eeaA or any combination the poet chooses as long as the refrain is in the proper position. composed with a refrain that is repeated as L1 of the first stanza L2 of the second stanza L3 of the third stanza L4 of the fourth stanza A a b b a A c c d d A a e e a A or A x a x x A x a a x A x x a x A . . x being unrhymed The Pen Whispers by Judi Van Gorder My pen hesitates on the page when I sit to write this letter, unsure just how I can assuage your reaction to my ramblings. We have talked about this before. The pen hesitates on this page and whispers how much I love you, better I shout it from a stage. Instead I hide inside a cage fearing you will never hear me. The pen hesitates on the page hoping these words won't go ignored. We have travelled long together yet grow no closer as we age. My romantic dreams unfinished this pen hesitates on the page. Quatern Sonnet is simply replacing the 4th quatrain of the Quatern with a Heroic Couplet, suggested by Australian poet Bruce Henderson. The elements would be the same as the Quatern above except the final couplet would carry the "a" rhyme and the last line is a repeat of L1 of the poem.