Form II

This page is for the traditional quatrain forms. It will be updated form time to time.

A quatrain is a four line stanza with an aspect of rhyme. It differentiates itself from syllabic forms as it uses meter. Although meter usually follows syllables it focuses more on the beats of the word. The most common meter is iambic which follows ordinary speech. A particular quatrain form usually dictates the beats in a line. For example, iambic pentameter has ten syllables in a line with every other syllable stressed, starting with the second one. Rhyme schemes are also usually firm.

In most cases the forms used here can continue on for a longer poem. Liberties might be taken with meter for the poems on this site, even as they are labeled a traditional form.


This Indian form is written in quatrains. The second and third lines rhyme. The syllable count is 6,6,6,4. All the poems on this site will only be a single quatrain, but this form can be extended.


A poem which is written in four lines. Meter and length are not for the most part of consequence. However, the first two lines should rhyme as well as the last two. The first line is the name of a character or person who is the topic of the piece. Clerihews are often characterized by wit.

Envelope stanza:

This form is written in quatrains of iambic tetrameter. The name comes from the rhyme scheme which is abba.

Half Measure

This is a short variation of common measure. It is written in four lines of iambic trimeter. There are two choices of rhyme: abab or abcb.


The monotetra is a newer poetic form. The stanzas contains four lines in monorhyme. Each line is in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of eight syllables. The last line contains two metrical feet, repeated.


This Indian form is written in a single quatrain. The first three lines rhyme with each other and are eight syllables long. The last line does not rhyme and is less than eight syllables, although an exact length is not defined.

Pathya Vat:

A Cambodian form written in four line stanzas where lines two and three rhyme. If it has more than one stanza, the last line should rhyme with lines two and three of the next. Each line has only four syllables.


This Filipino form is written in four lines of seven syllables each. This form is often not titled. In the traditional form the lines were monorhymed, meaning one rhyme aaaa. Modern poets have veered from that rule to allow for other rhyme schemes, but they usually remain rhymed. It was part of an oral tradition and originated as a way to share moral concepts and proverbs.


A Burmese form of three lines. It has climbing rhyme. Each line has four syllables. The last syllable of the first line rhymes with the third syllable of the second and the second syllable of the last. It should have a witty, or profound epigram quality to it.

Celtic Quatrain:
The Celtic quatrain is a category in itself. There are many forms in traditional Celtic poetry and there are several characteristics which are unique. Often near rhymes in the sense of assonance or consonance are used instead of exact rhymes. Internal rhyme is common. There is also a common characteristic where the poem begins with the same word or phrase as it ends with.

Englyn Unodl Crwca:

A quatrain with syllable counts: seven, seven, ten, and six and having rhyme and cross-rhyme. So the first two lines are a rhyming couplet. The third line has an internal rhyme which rhymes with the original couplet “a” then its end word rhymes internally with the last line. While the last line ends returning to the original rhyme. the b rhyme can be a near rhyme with assonance,consonance or alliteration.

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