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Explore the Craft of Writing American Verse Curtal Quatrain (French- cut short) is a 19th century American verse form made popular by Archibald Mac Leish. This is not the quatrain used in the Curtal Sonnet of a few of decades before. The sonnet may have influenced the creation of this verse form but the sonnet's quatrain is 4 lines of iambic pentameter with a trimeter tail added as a 5th line. In the Curtal Quatrain the 4th line is the shorter line. The elements of the Curtal Quatrain are: stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. metered, primarily iambic. L1, L2, L3