Quatern Definition

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 fouth 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)

A Quatern is a type of poem that involves the repetition of the first line throughout the text. There are sixteen lines in total in this type of poem. If you break down the poem into sets of four you will see the pattern begining to emerge.

In the second set, the second line of that set is actually the first line of the poem. In the third set, the third line of the poem is the first line. And for the fourth set, the line repeated is at the end. 

Quatern Poem Example

A Withered Leaf

A withered leaf falls to the ground.
In contemplation I'm aware
that much of history will astound
us when we realise what we share.

I look at sights that seem the same,
a withered leaf falls to the ground.
Ancestral souls that share our name
resurface. In our traits they're found.

A glance, a look can be renowned
as features of our family line.
A withered leaf falls to the ground
and I relate because it's mine.

As part of one big family tree
we share our roots. They're tightly bound.
When new life grows from you and me
a withered leaf falls to the ground.

Top 5 Quatern Poem Examples

Other Quatern Definition

[n] the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one

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See Also...

digit, figure

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