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Quatern
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A Quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains. It is similar to the Kyrielle and the Retourne. It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. The first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, third line of stanza three, and fourth line of stanza four. A quatern has eight syllables per line. It does not have to be iambic or follow a set rhyme scheme.

line 1
line 2
line 3
line 4

line 5
line 6 (line 1)
line 7
line 8

line 9
line 10
line 11 (line 1)
line 12

line 13
line 14
line 15
line 16 (line 1) 

Example #1:

True Love, Redefined
 
One day she hopes true love to find,
One soul, one mind, two hearts entwined;
Somewhere out there’s the perfect guy,
For Youth has set her standards high.
 
He must be rich, handsome, refined,
One day she hopes true love to find;
Yet no one seems to measure up
And disappointment fills her cup.
 
The years go by, her nights grow long,
Her aging voice sings sorrow’s song.
One day she hopes true love to find,
Her definition redefined;
 
Simply a plain and faithful friend
To see her to life’s journey’s end;
For though her face with age be lined,
One day she hopes true love to find.
 
Copyright 2003 Linda Newman
 

Example #2:

Behold Your Son
 
Woman, woman behold your son,
In manger lies the Holy One.
Wondrous star in heaven aglow,
Christ the babe in swaddling clothes.
 
In desert heat, the baptized one,
Woman, woman behold your son.
Satan tempting the Great High Priest,
Son of Man resists fallen beast.
 
Athirst for blood a vicious mob,
Curses the Christ as he is flogged.
Woman, woman behold your son,
Condemned to die, the wounded one.
 
Beneath the cross, a loving pair,
Christ gives his mother to John's care.
Says to Mary, his last breath drawn,
Woman, woman, behold your son.
 
Copyright 2006 James Dupy 

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