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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 x