Quatrains and More

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Quatrain Definition

He was a fearless warrior, a peerless speaker, never base. Zi Ye, or "Lady Midnight," was a Chinese poet of the Jin Dynasty who invented a poetic form consisting of four lines with five characters each. The form, which other poets later imitated, was named after her.

Here you can see it in the original Chinese with the English translation below.

All night I could not sleep Because of the moonlight on my bed. Christopher Marlowe's famous tragedy Doctor Faustus is a drama written in blank verse strict meter but no rhyme , much like the plays of Shakespeare. Blank verse in iambic pentameter is the standard form for verse dramas, and Doctor Faustus is no exception.

Here, the line break that turns these eight lines into two quatrains is inserted to transition between speakers. Read, read the Scriptures:—that is blasphemy.

What is a Quatrain Poem?

The three excerpted stanzas below are broken up as they are, one can assume, because the poet thought that it created the right pacing in the text. It does me no good; violence has changed me. My body has grown cold like the stripped fields; now there is only my mind, cautious and wary, with the sense it is being tested.

Once more, the sun rises as it rose in summer; bounty, balm after violence. Balm after the leaves have changed, after the fields have been harvested and turned. The reasons for writing quatrains are as numerous and as varied as the reasons for writing poetry.

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Some forms of the stand-alone quatrain have specific requirements and traditions associated with them, which may lead a poet to choose to write in that form. For example, the four lines of a Zi Ye poem correspond to the four seasons, which adds another dimension of meaning to the words of the poem. This level of specificity, however, is the exception to the rule when it comes to quatrains.

Most poets who use quatrains do so because it is dictated by other aspects of the form in which they're writing. For example, a poet who wants to write a proper ballad will need to use quatrains, and a playwright writing in blank verse might sometimes give four lines of dialogue to a character, inadvertently making a quatrain.

Sign In Sign Up. Quatrain Definition. Quatrain Examples. Quatrain Function. Quatrain Resources. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play.

LitCharts From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Download this entire guide PDF. Quatrain Definition What is a quatrain? Some additional key details about quatrains: Quatrains are most common in verse that uses both meter and rhyme, but they appear in all types of poetry. The lines of a quatrain vary in length depending on the type of verse being written: they can range from a single syllable to twenty syllables or more.

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Quatrains have been used as an important unit in composing verse in cultures all around the world and throughout history, from ancient China to Medieval France through to the modern day. How to Pronounce Quatrain Here's how to pronounce quatrain: kwah- trayn Quatrains in Depth The Quatrain in Formal Verse The four-line stanza is most common in formal verse —verse that employs both a strict meter and rhyme scheme. Something you can utter in one long convulsive breath or hold in your palm. When my hand covers the page it disappears. It's a controlled measure of sound and space within which one can do anything.

An invitation.

I'm like Williams in that way. To me, a sonnet is fourteen lines of rhymed, iambic pentameter. I guess I understand why poets sometimes call fourteen free verse lines a sonnet. One often views form in poems as giving a cohesive body to the mind, order to what might otherwise be inchoate. Of Poetry and Medicine : Rafael Campo talks with Cortney Davis about his work and his return to the sonnet form in multiple collections.

Materials for Teachers Materials for Teachers Home. Poems for Kids. Poems for Teens. Lesson Plans. Teach this Poem. Poetry Near You. Academy of American Poets. National Poetry Month. American Poets Magazine. Sonnet Explore the glossary of poetic terms. The name is taken from the Italian sonetto , which means "a little sound or song.

Types of Sonnets Two sonnet forms provide the models from which all other sonnets are formed: the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean. Petrarchan Sonnet The first and most common sonnet is the Petrarchan, or Italian. Shakespearean Sonnet The second major type of sonnet, the Shakespearean, or English sonnet, follows a different set of rules. Featured Poems.

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What is a Quatrain Poem?

Featured Poets The following poets, as well as many others, are known for their work in the sonnet form. Sonnet Sequences There are several types of sonnet groupings, including the sonnet sequence, which is a series of linked sonnets dealing with a unified subject.

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Modern Sonnets The sonnet has continued to engage the modern poet, many of whom also took up the sonnet sequence, notably Rainer Maria Rilke , Robert Lowell , and John Berryman. Educator Resources Browse lesson plans featuring poems in the sonnet form. Related Resources I think of the modern sonnet as an increment of time within a frame. Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem. Follow Us.

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Quatrains and More Quatrains and More
Quatrains and More Quatrains and More
Quatrains and More Quatrains and More
Quatrains and More Quatrains and More
Quatrains and More Quatrains and More

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