Poetry Kaleidoscope: Guide to Poetry
A quatrain is a
poem or a stanza
within a poem that consists of four lines. It is the most common of all
stanza forms in European poetry.
- abab (from "The Unquiet Grave")
- "The wind doth blow today, my love
- And a few small drops of rain;
- I never had but one true-love
- In cold grave she was lain.
- xbyb (from "The Wife of Usher's Well")
- There lived a wife at Usher's Well,
- And a wealthy wife was she;
- She had three stout and stalwart sons,
- And slept with them out at sea.
- aabb (from William Blake,
- Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
- In the forests of the night,
- What immortal hand or eye
- Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
- abba, also called the envelope stanza or introverted quatrain
(from Tennyson In Memoriam)
- Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
- Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
- By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
- Believeing where we cannot prove;
- aaxa, or the
Omar Khayyám stanza (also known as
- Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night,
- Has flung the Stone that puts the stars to flight:
- And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
- The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of light.
Quatrains of Michael J. Farrand.
- the heroic stanza or elegiac stanza (iambic
pentameters rhyming abab; from Thomas Gray's
"Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard")
- The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
- The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
- The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
- And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Shichigon-zekku form used in
Japanese poetry. Both rhyme and rhythm are key elements, although the
former is not restricted to falling at the end of the phrase.
- ballad meter (The
examples from "The Unquiet Grave" and "The Wife of Usher's Well" are both
examples of ballad meter.)
- various hymns employ
specific forms, such as the common meter, long meter, and
Poetry Guide Home | Up | Chant Royal | Cinquain | Envoi | Habbie Stanza | Onegin Stanza | Ottava Rima | Quatrain | Rhyme Royal | Sapphics | Spenserian Stanza | Terza rima | Verse Paragraph
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