Four Line Poetry Forms

The Quatrain is arguably the most significant poetry form in use throughout history, and examples of variations of four line poetry are to be found throughout the world, from the Ballad of England, to the Pantoum of Malaysia, whilst not forgetting the Rubai of Persia.

Quatrains are four line stanzas of any type, rhyme, or meter. In this site will be discussed the more popular and traditional forms.

Quick guide to forms

(for more information click on the form)
Ballad Stanza
Rhyme Scheme a. b. a. b.

iambic tetrameter, (4 feet)
Clerihew
(Satirical Poetry)
Rhyme Scheme a. a. b. b.

Dipodic meter,
Common Measure Rhyme Scheme a4. b3. c4. b3.

alternating iambic meter
Envelope Stanza Rhyme Scheme a. b. b. a.
Eight Syllabes, or
iambic tetrameter, (4 feet)
Goethe Stanza Rhyme Scheme a. . b. a. . b.

No Meter,
Half Measure Rhyme Scheme a. b. a. b., or: a. b. c. b.

iambic trimeter, (3 feet)
Heroic Stanza Rhyme Scheme a. b. c. b.

iambic pentameter, (5 feet)
Hymnal Measure Rhyme Scheme a4. b3. a4. b3.

alternating iambic meter
Italian Quatrain Rhyme Scheme a. b. b. a.

iambic pentameter, (5 feet)
Long Measure Rhyme Scheme a. b. c. b.

iambic tetrameter, (4 feet)
Redondilla,
(Spanish Quatrain)
Rhyme Scheme; a. b. b. a..or..a. b. a. b..

or...a. a. b. b.
tetrameter (8 syllables)
Sapphic Stanza Three lines of two trochees, one dactyl
and two trochees.
Last line dactyl and trochee
Shaira Rhyme Scheme a. a. a. a.

sixteen-syllable lines
Short Measure Rhyme Scheme a3. b3. a4. b3.

alternating iambic meter
Sicilian Quatrain Rhyme Scheme a. b. a. b.

Tetrameter or Pentameter, (4 or 5 feet)
Un-wreathed Quatrain External Rhyme Scheme b. a. b. a.
Internal Rhyme Scheme a. b. a. x.
No set meter
Wreathed Quatrain External Rhyme Scheme a. b. a. b.
Internal Rhyme Scheme x. a. b. a.
No set meter




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