April 28, 2010

There is one entry under “Q” in Packard’s The Poet’s Dictionary:  A Handbook of Prosody and Poetic Devices, which makes the decision-making process easy.

Quatrain:  Any STANZA unit of four lines, whether rhymed or unrhymed (see RHYME).  The quatrain is the most common stanza form in English poetry, and when rhymed it tends to fall into one of the following four categories:
Shakespearean rhyme  a/b/a/b
Petrarchean rhyme a/b/b/a
Omar Khayyám stanza a/a/x/a
Monorhyme a/a/a/a

I revised this next poem, so that the first three stanzas are quatrains. I attempted the Petrarchean rhyme scheme. Regardless of whether the poem is successful, I enjoyed revisiting a years-old poem and working with it, applying a fresh set of expectations. Thanks for reading!

When I Was Dying
(Suzanne Baldwin Leitner)

I feel like
a bale of hay.
Dry. Prickly.
Bound up with twine.

I see me sometimes:
scarecrow’s corpse. Stained
clothes wrinkly.
I am unreachable, like sky.

Unkempt. Not fine.
Our wedding day
was in the spring. May.
I have broken the body of your bride.

I don’t want you to hold me – to hold straw about to be dust.

3 thoughts on “April 28, 2010

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