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Jan's Master Class--Quatrain

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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glorybee
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Postby glorybee » Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:34 pm

Gerald, how sweet! Everything matches up here--the rhyme, the lilting meter, the mood, the content. I love it!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby colin_nielsen » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:03 am

Gerald. That was excellent. I loved reading it.
Why would a young man live in a wasteland when the castle of his dreams is standing by?
Why would a princess put on an old dress to dance with her beloved and the chance to catch his eye?

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Toni Star
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Giving it a try...

Postby Toni Star » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:27 am

Want to give the quatrain a try...

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves move swiftly through the air,
Their beauty lying silent on damp ground.
And there they lay, exposed and bare..
Just waiting, it seems, to be found..

Toni
Toni Star, freelance writer/editor and graduate student

"Never give up, for there is always an answer for everyone who seeks, knocks or asks."

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glorybee
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Re: Giving it a try...

Postby glorybee » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:52 pm

Toni Star wrote:Want to give the quatrain a try...

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves move swiftly through the air,
Their beauty lying silent on damp ground.
And there they lay, exposed and bare..
Just waiting, it seems, to be found..

Toni


Toni, that's so pretty! What a nice image, and I love the personification in the last line.

I wonder if the meter could be evened out a bit. As it is, your syllable counts are 9, 10, 8, 8 and the pattern of stressed/unstressed falls apart a little in lines 3 and 4. What do you think?
Jan Ackerson

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Postby CherieAnn » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:14 pm

glorybee wrote:
CherieAnn wrote:They march across the field so green,
Hut one, Hut two, Hut three.
A battle on my TV screen,
Who will the winner be?



a,b,a,b and 9,6,9,6

Fun, fun!
Hope that's right :)


Actually, Cherie Ann, it's 8,6,8,6--but other than counting wrong, it's a great little quatrain. I love the repetition in the 2nd line, the image of the 3rd line, and the "kicker" in the 4th.

Incidentally, the 8,6,8,6 rhythm is very common--if you wanted to, you could sing your little poem to the tune of "Amazing Grace!"


eeep! :oops: Good thing this isn't math class :lol:


Good thing this in not a math class;
for with counting like that,
on my face I'd fall flat.
I most certainly would not pass.


:lol:

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Yes, good point...

Postby Toni Star » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:35 am

Yes, that's a good point. Will see what I can do..Will try again later..

Toni
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"Never give up, for there is always an answer for everyone who seeks, knocks or asks."

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Postby Kid Denver » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:20 am

Green eyes spy seas whipped white capped waves
Gray clouds reach down with swirling arms
Gold ring fits tight on finger brave
Gamboge torn sails embrace my grave

Henry C.
Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,... Col. 3:23

My Member Profile Page: http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=27052

My Blog: The Underside of Green: http://henryclemmonspoet.blogspot.com/

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Postby glorybee » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:16 am

Henry, sorry it took a while to respond--I've been gone for a bit, and haven't checked this forum in a while.

As always--your poetry is exquisite. I don't even have the words, but it makes me firm in my belief that I should NOT be teaching this class! We need an advanced poetry seminar, for you and some of the others who already do this so very, very well.
Jan Ackerson

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Postby swfdoc1 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:14 pm

I found a really great website today to help with scanning. It's called For Better For Verse. It is in a beta status right now, so I bet it will be really good when complete.

When you go there, you will see a particular poem (A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal). Ignore that for the time being. Click on overview. There is nothing really written there (part of being beta I guess), but you have tabs you can click on. Click on “Rules of Thumb” for some hints on how to scan poetry.

Then click on “Tools.” This is a must read if you intend to use this site. The only thing I would add to these instructions is so NOT add the foot mark at the end of the line—your answers will always be wrong.
From the tools page, you can get to the poems from a box on the right side of the page. There are various ways to sort the poems and for practice purposes, you might want to sort by difficulty level. Unfortunately, within a given level, they are just alphabetical even though each difficulty level has a pretty big range. The very easiest one is Rhyme for a Child Viewing a Naked Venus in a Painting of "The Judgment of Paris," which is hilarious without being risqué.

Beyond this one, I think most of us will get some wrong answers. But, one thing that is great about the site is that the “correct” answers are provided by a true expert and not some self-proclaimed Internet expert AND they sometimes provide for alternate acceptable answers. Plus, the “light bulb” notes that appear next to some lines after you submit your answers explain how deviation from the standard meter of the poem or line impacts the impression given by that line.

To use the site fully, you will need to know just a few terms: iamb, trochee, anapest, dactyl, spondee, pyrrhic (or really iambic, trochaic, anapestic, dactylic, spondaic, pyrrhic). But if you want to, you can copy and paste these definitions from here and print them out:

Iamb =unstressed, stressed
Trochee = stressed, unstressed
Anapest = unstressed, unstressed, stressed,
Dactyl = stressed, unstressed, unstressed
Spondee = stressed, stressed
Pyrrhic = unstressed, unstressed

The site also uses terms for the number of feet from monometer through hexameter, that is one foot through six feet, but these are in a drop down menu in order, so you don’t even have to memorize them.

Don’t let the fancy names put you off—it is a really, really cool interactive site. Also, don’t let wrong answers put you off. If you keep trying, you will get better (and don’t forget he rules of thumb, including the last one).
Steve
nlf.net
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things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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quatrain times 3

Postby lidijo1 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:28 am

Good morning Jan,

Here is my poem...3 quatrains in one poem, for your consideration:


Now I lay me down to sleep,
THe baby died in six-o- three,
And down the hall in six-o-five,
A small child fights to stay alive,

We daily fight a war of wills,
And battle dark, malignant ills,
And pray for grace that God will choose,
To let us save more than we lose,

And when it comes my time to die,
I will not fight, I will not cry,
But ask instead for spirit mild,
And the courage of a dying child.


Lisa J.
( I spent 15 years as a pediatric oncology nurse)
Last edited by lidijo1 on Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
I don't know what my future holds... but I know WHO holds my future...and "I'm persuaded that HE is able to keep that which I've committed unto HIM against that day".

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glorybee
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Postby glorybee » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:00 am

Lisa, totally breathtaking. Thanks for sharing this heart-rending poem with us!
Jan Ackerson

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