Writing Exercise – the Quatern

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html
For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I’m going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.
 The quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains (four line stanzas).

The quatern has a refrain (a repeated line) that is in a different place in each quatrain. In other words, the first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, the third line of stanza three and the fourth line of stanza four. It’s surprising how much this affects the meaning of the words in that refrain.

A quatern should have eight syllables per line. It does not have to be iambic or follow a set rhyme scheme.

I don’t know why you won’t undress
Your clothes are getting in my way
I say this to you night and day
It leaves our love life in a mess

And so I tell my therapist
I don’t know why you won’t undress
It stops me trying to caress
The parts I think you needed kissed

But he tells me to give you time
He says you don’t need my duress
I don’t know why you won’t undress
I worry you’re no longer mine

I hear my therapist confess
He’s seeing you: You’re deemed a slut
He wants some advice from me but
I don’t know why you won’t undress

I have to admit, I love poems that work with refrains. All poems get us thinking about words and the way we use them in different fashions. The use of a refrain, especially with such a didactic placement as the one in the quatrain, makes us think more about our selection of choice phrases.
If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html