HEY!! Does anybody have a quarter? What's a quarter have to do with this type of poetry? Well, a quarter is 1/4 of a dollar. The word quatrain comes from Latin and French words meaning "four." See the connection? The quatrain is a poem or stanza of four lines. It is a very popular form of poetry. Famous poets like William Blake and T. S. Eliot used quatrains. Read these examples:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
-From William Blake's "The Tyger"
The mountain frames the sky (a)
As a shadow of an eagle flies by. (a)
With clouds hanging at its edge (b)
A climber proves his courage on its rocky ledge. (b)
Did you notice that a quatrain is formed by two rhyming couplets? Easy! This pattern is called a a b b. The first line rhymes with the second (sky and by) and the third line rhymes with the fourth line (edge and ledge). Other quatrain patterns are a b a b,
a b b a, and a b c b.
Lyrical Lesson: Quatrain
1. Choose a theme that you recently heard in a song.
2. Brainstorm ideas for purpose and mood.
3. Add descriptive words and phrases (This would be a GREAT time to use
4. Write two joining couplets that "paint" a complete word picture. Proofread.
5. Design an album cover that would best illustrate the theme of your quatrain.