POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

IN-FORM POET – QUATERN

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 revolves to 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 usually has eight syllables per line. It does not have to be iambic, or follow a specific rhyme scheme.

MARIE ELENA’S TRY

O, FOR ASSURANCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN

Lord, help us in our unbelief
When doubts and worries overflow
And those we love are filled with grief
Lord, help us trust You even so.

Through puzzlement and turmoil’s clutch
Lord, help us in our unbelief
When we can’t feel Your healing touch
Let faith adorn our life’s motif.

When there’s no sign of pain’s relief
Though friends may turn their hearts away
Lord, help us in our unbelief
Grant strength in need, O Lord we pray.

For though You’re there to help us cope
Suspicion creeps in like a thief
To shake our faith, and steal our hope.
Lord, help us in our unbelief.

WALT’S TURN AT QUATERN

IN A POET’S HEART IS BEAUTY

In a poet’s heart is beauty,
it is through a sense of duty
that a true poet will express
what all poetic hearts possess.

This fact one cannot refute, see;
in a poet’s heart is beauty.
Romantic words to rend his soul,
the feelings wrought will not control

the depth of expression within.
To deny this muse is a sin.
In a poet’s heart is beauty.
Lightness of words, sad or moody,

bring delight to such expression.
They lift souls from their depression
never sounding harsh or haughty,
in a poet’s heart is beauty.

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70 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET – QUATERN

  1. Live for the love of it, my friend,
    A loveless life comes with a cost:
    Those precious moments that we spend
    With heavy hearts, are moments lost.

    Don’t worry so, lift up your face,
    Live for the love of it, my friend,
    Slow down and drop out of the race,
    You’ll be the winner in the end.

    While sounds and sights die out and blend,
    A loving heart does not know fear,
    Live for the love of it, my friend,
    So you may see, and you may hear.

    Cut off the chains, your soul set free,
    True happiness you’ll comprehend,
    Go have a son, or plant a tree,
    Live for the love of it, my friend.

  2. HOPELESS TASK

    This is all we’ll ever know……….
    That we know, truly, not a thing.
    Our lives are transient as the snow,
    Which fades away at the breath of Spring.
    *
    We know a trace of this and that;
    This is all we’ll ever know.
    We guess at what we’re looking at;
    And get a hint before we go.
    *
    Our piles of clever volumes grow,
    Their pages numbered endlessly.
    This is all we’ll ever know;
    We gaze and gaze but can’t quite see.
    *
    When we look out upon the stars
    We’re merely dazzled by the show.
    We try to pickle them in jars.
    This is all we’ll ever know.
    *

  3. I really enjoyed trying this form. It’s poetic and disciplined at the same time.

  4. Because it is a French form, and syllable-counting works better in French, I decided to have a go at writing in French . I gave myself the added difficulty of using rhyme, although a French purist would groan at rhyming dépourvus with doux!

    I append a translation, for non-francophones, which made me realise how banal the poem becomes in English, and impossible to make it rhyme or to stick to 8 syllables!

    Quatern

    Le jour est toujours assez doux
    on voit se déroule, tranquille, la vie
    J’ai de la chance de vivre ici
    loin de la cité, loin du bruit.

    Ma regard tourne envers la scène
    le jour est toujours calme et doux
    la vie agréable, rien ne gêne
    Est-ce que le même est vrai pour vous ?

    Jolie printemps apporterait
    la vie moins dur des dépourvus –
    le jour fait toujours bon et doux .
    Un temps cruel vite reviendrait.

    Les oiseaux s’envolent vers le sud
    l’hiver approche trop vite, trop tôt.
    Malgré tout, heureusement, pour nous
    le jour est toujours assez doux.

    TRANSLATION

    The day is always mild enough
    I see life go by in tranquility.
    I am so lucky to live here
    far from the City, far from noise.

    My gaze turns towards the view
    The day is still quite calm and mild,
    an agreeable life undisturbed.
    Is that always true for you?

    Beautiful Spring will provide
    an easier life for the poor –
    the day is still good and mild
    Cruel weather will soon return.

    The birds fly off towards the South
    winter nears, too quickly, too soon.
    Despite all this, happily for us
    the day is always mild enough.

  5. Marie and Walt…Two wonderful examples of the quatern…both poems brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my heart. Thank-you.

  6. Reselience

    You get back up and try again
    when life comes at you hard and fast
    and brings with it a pain that lasts.
    It is the getting up that heals

    the wounds, that sometimes make you reel.
    You get back up and try again
    to bring your focus back in line
    with what you’ve known for a long time;

    that sticks and stones can cause a bruise
    but those that throw them really loose.
    You get back up and try again
    recalling all that you are worth.

    Undaunted by the road ahead,
    your chin is up, your eyes are set.
    You may go down, but you’re not out
    You get back up and try again.

  7. These are lovely!

  8. Grandfather Laos takes short steps,
    not striding like a rocking horse,
    but distinct full stops, separate;
    as if alleys were paved with glue.

    Red-tied trash bag on a carry-stick,
    Grandfather Laos takes short steps,
    no movement transferred to the sack,
    still slim with the early morning.

    Objective as an old surgeon,
    he lifts lids, inspects the contents.
    Grandfather Laos takes short steps;
    he is precise, professional.

    The trucks will scoop up what he leaves
    while he sits on his porch, sorting,
    red-tied bag after red-tied bag.
    Grandfather Laos takes short steps.

    I like the form, y’all. Thanks.

  9. A slight variation yet in keeping with the form…

    The Finish Line

    I’ll be there at the finish line.
    It’s written here by grand design.
    The words I speak always ring true.
    Count on me to be there for you.

    Count on me to be there for you.
    I’ll be there at the finish line.
    Together all our dreams come true.
    This light we share will always shine.

    This light we share will always shine.
    Our future is so very bright.
    I’ll be there at the finish line.
    Forever more we‘ll share the light.

    Forever more we‘ll share the light.
    We’ll live the vision and the sight.
    Now everything will be just fine.
    I’ll be there at the finish line.

    By Michael Grove

  10. Enduring Friendship (a Quatern)

    A friend for life is a treasure
    to hold close in your heart and mind.
    The memories made together
    are ripe fruits, juicer with time.
    Those crises we’ve faced make it clear,
    a friend for life is a treasure.
    To know that person you turn to
    will be there, no matter the time
    or place, fosters a sense of peace.
    You know you will not be alone.
    A friend for life is a treasure
    you can count on to share your life.
    Without spoken words they will know
    exactly what you are thinking.
    I do not seek wealth for I know
    a friend for life is a treasure.

  11. Marie, your poem is such a beautiful blessing and an absolute work of art! Thank you for this.

    I will be back tomorrow with more time to indulge in all of you wonderful poets and perhaps a poem in my pocket, too!

    Warm smiles all @!

  12. Tonight…

    Then let the darkness steal the day
    And let it cover up the sky
    Darling, it cannot steal away
    Love’s timeless sparkle in your eye

    Oh, let it lean against the hour
    Then let the darkness steal the day
    For it does not contain the pow’r
    To steal our memories away

    Then let it swallow up life’s fray
    Or spew the stars like silver froth
    Then let the darkness steal the day
    For it cocoons a golden moth

    Darling, we will not haste tonight
    Tomorrow, let then come what may
    The darkness holds its own delight
    Then let the darkness steal the day

    Janet~

  13. I’m loving all of the quaterns! It’s so interesting to read the non-rhyming ones. I don’t know that I could do one without rhyming it. The rhyming gave me a structure to follow.

    Here’s mine:

    The stars do not decide for us
    They are but flames that burn the night
    They do not cast our fate but just
    Reflect it back within their light.

    Though we may wish upon the stars
    The stars do not decide for us
    We choose to become what we are
    The cure for savage luck is trust.

    A shining caracol and thus
    Its twists and turns an endless game
    The stars do not decide for us
    And so our lives are much the same.

    While Heaven’s reach is far and true
    And kneel before her strength we must
    What we believe and what we do
    The stars do not decide for us.

  14. Ya’ll are making this look entirely too easy. I am failing miserably at it, so far. Back to the keyboard…

  15. These are absolutely fabulous, you guys. And thanks for the kind words, Hannah, Janet, Hen, and Viv!

    Lolamouse, so good to see you again! I agree that I’m not sure what I’d do with this form if I couldn’t rhyme it. That’s how my mind works, lol!

  16. Quidquid

    “Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.” (Anything said in Latin sounds profound). ~Anon

    If you speak Latin, you’ll sound smart,
    like Einstein, Plato and Descartes.
    But even more, most will not know
    what you have said. Just goes to show

    that but a few words, known by heart,
    proves you speak Latin. You sound smart!
    Thus when you postulate, ‘quidquid,’
    just say it once. Then say, ‘ibid.’

    Or then say, ‘Bibo ergo sum,’
    Some ‘Python’ fans will know, by gum,
    your toasts to Latin are so smart!
    So, ‘ergo,’ now, here’s THE best part…

    To ‘carpe diem’ (seize the day)
    use Latin. You’ll be ‘illiant-bray’
    and so profound, You’ll stand apart:
    if you speak Latin, you’ll sound smart.

    ###

    Notes: First – let me say THIS WAS SUCH FUN!!!! Thanks! I love the Quatern form!

    Now then. To clarify a few points which most of you probably know already anyway…1.) ‘ibid’ refers to a citation in a book, meaning: in the same place [short for ibidem]; 2.) ‘bibo ergo sum’ means ‘I drink; therefore I am, which is a play on the words ‘cogito ergo sum,’ which mean ‘I think; therefore I am – and of course, as any Monty Python fan worth his or her salt knows, it’s also the tag line to the Philosopher’s Beer Drinking Song; 3.) ‘illiant-bray’ is Pig-Latin, and is therefore [or, to speak in the vernacular, ergo] NOT Latin, but for purposes of this poem, it rhymed – and so I used it anyway.

  17. Andrew Kreider on said:

    Fifty miles

    I cannot travel more tonight.
    My eyes have given up the flat
    terrain, bewitched by bright light
    of this small motel. I know that

    there is no good alternative.
    I cannot travel more tonight,
    even though I would surely give
    anything to saddle these white

    lines and ride until dawn, to write
    your name in the mist and trees, but
    I cannot travel more tonight,
    and so instead I dream of what

    I will say to you tomorrow.
    In the darkness I hold you tight
    and you are in this bed although
    I cannot travel more tonight.

  18. ~HEARTSONG~

    My heart longs for the song of Spring,
    Nature’s sound resounding in everything
    Breeze in trees, clouds every wrinkle
    Cerebral tickle… awaken.

    Poem that wants to be written
    My heart longs for the song of Spring.
    Synapsis sticking, waiting, warmth;
    Knobby, blooms ready to burst forth.

    Petal upon petal slowly
    Unfurl, shake loose from Winter ways
    My heart longs for the song of Spring.
    World welcomes you with open arms.

    Rising from darkened depths of earth
    Gems, grass blades emerging to shine.
    Nests once empty busy with life
    My heart longs for the song of Spring.

    >—————-<

    Phew, that was wicked rugged! My brain gets so rigid with form. Any way this could most definetly use tweaking…peppermint tea first! Sorry you guys get the rough version! 😉 Happy poeming and smiles all @!

  19. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    …..oooh, you see what I see….. whether wicked rugged or not, you have conveyed beauty; and, I second that lovely cup of steaming, peppermint tea! Lovely, Hannah! Hen

  20. The Next Step

    I strip the trials and pain away,
    Tomorrow starts a brand new day
    Of searching for a way to start
    To mend my aching, shattered heart.

    To keep my spirit from decay,
    I strip the trials and pain away.
    I’ve tried but just can’t be consoled.
    How many tears can one heart hold?

    How can I be brave, be strong?
    I’m tired of singing that sad song.
    I strip the trials and pain away,
    Abandoning the old cliché.

    If I can make it through this night,
    I may just find the will to fight.
    For strength to carry on, I pray.
    I strip the trials and pain away.

  21. Ordinary Death

    Yes, death is quite a common thing.
    In fact, everyone will die.
    Yet, it comes as such a great shock.
    We can’t grasp it when it happens.

    All experience painful loss.
    Yes, death is quite a common thing.
    It shakes us to our very core.
    We wonder how we can go on.

    If we could just see it as good.
    If we could admit to ourselves,
    “Yes, death is quite a common thing;”
    It may become less horrendous.

    A graduation, homecoming,
    Reward, ending to suffering.
    We could be at peace, smile and say,
    “Yes, death is quite a common thing.”

  22. Kairn

    Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure,
    born of grace and beauty; demure
    in her womanly wiles, her smile
    can charm the monster from Lough Ness.

    She touched my heart when she was born,
    Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure,
    giving me a part of her soul,
    this gentle girl in full control.

    Her mother’s looks and her father’s
    way with words, both expressed in love,
    Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure;
    an angel. Sent from up above,

    Blessing all that know her spirit.
    And her voice, the way I hear it
    fills all my days with joy for sure,
    Kairn, a daughter so fair and pure.

    Written for the dear heart of a daughter, Kairn Blythe McIllwain.

  23. Pingback: Heart | Scarring Words

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