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Faux Pas

Catullus 101

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus

Carried through many nations and over many seas

advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,

I arrived, brother, for these wretched funeral rites

ut te postremo donarem munere mortis

So that I might present you with the last tribute of death

et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.

and speak in vain to silent ash,

Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.

Since fortune has carried away from me you in the flesh

Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,

Atlas, poor brother, unfairly taken away from me,

nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum

now in the meantime, nevertheless, these things which in the ancient custom of ancestors

tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,

are handed over as a sad tribute to the rites

accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,

receive, dripping much with brotherly weeping.

atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

And forever, brother, hail and farewell.

Adonais written by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Author's Comments

Oh, there are so many different types of Quatrains. These are some of the names that readily come to mind not listed in alphabetical order:

The Introverted:

A quatrain having an enclosed rhyme which has abba rhyme scheme. The Introverted Stanza may also be called envelope rhyme since the rhymes of the first and last lines enclose the other lines.

Ballad Meter:

Alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming, an abcb rhyme scheme.

Curtal Quatrain:

A quatrain in which the fourth line is shortened

Common Measure (C.M.):

An iambic stanza form similar to ballad measure. It is a quatrain in alternating iambic tetrameter and trimeter with rhyme scheme abcb. To put this differently, C.M. consists of four iambic verses making a stanza, the first and third having each four feet, and the second and fourth each three feet.

Curtal Long Hymnal Stanza:

A stanzaic form composed of three lines of iambic tetrameter and one of iambic dimeter rhymed abab.

Envelope Stanza:

Quatrain rhymed abba. The Redondilla is an example

In Memorium Stanza:

An envelope stanza (rhymed abba) in iambic tetrameter

Long Hymnal Stanza:

An iambic stanza form similar to ballad measure. It is a quatrain in alternating iambic tetrameter and trimeter with rhyme scheme abab. A slight variation on Common Measure.

Long Measure (L.M.):

Quatrains in iambic tetrameter with ryme scheme abcb. To put this statement another way, L.M. consists of iambic verses of four feet each, four verses usually making a stanza.


Of English origin, it is a 12-line 3-quatrain poem with fixed rhyme scheme. Rhyme scheme set at aabb ccdd abcd.

Short Meter (S.M.):

Iambic verses, the first, second and fourth having each three feet, and the third four feet. The stanza usually consists of four lines, but is sometimes doubled.


This Spanish verse form is written in tetrameter in which each stanza consists of four lines, each with eight syllables and with any of these rhyme schemes: abba, abab or aabb.

Rubaiyat (Rubaa-ey)

This is the Persian word for quatrain and is a collection of poems attributed to the Persian mathematician and astronomer, Omar Khayyam (1048-1123). The rhyme scheme is aaba, that is, lines one and two and four. In longer poems built in rubaiyat rhyme scheme, the connection is sometimes extended to AABA BBCB CCDC, and so on. This is sometimes called, naturally, "interlocking rubaiyat." The structure can be made cyclical by linking the unrhymed line of the final stanza: ZZAZ. A pure use of the interlocking rubaiyat in Modern English poetry is Robert Frost's poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

Heroic Stanza:

A quatrain consisting of two heroic couplets written in an elevated style; the rhyme scheme is abab. The heroic couplet consists of two rhymed linesof iambic pentameter and written in an elevated style.


The Pantoum is composed of a series of quatrains, the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next.

This pattern continues for any number of stanzas, except for the final stanza which differs in the repeating pattern.

The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth of the penultimate, the first line of the poem is the last line of the final stanza, and the third line of the first stanza is the second of the final. Ideally, the meaning of lines shifts when they are repeated although the words remain exactly the same: this can be done by shifting punctuation, punning, or simply recontextualizing.

There is the Imperfect Pantoum, in which the final stanza differs from the form stated above, and the second and fourth may be different from any preceding lines.

Venus and Adonis Stanza:

A stanza consisting of iambic pentameter quatrain and couplet with the rhyme scheme ababcc. The stanza was so called because it was used by William Shakespeare in his poem, "Venus and Adonis" (1593). Its form is like the structure for the Sesta Rima which is a six line stanza composed of a quatrain and a couplet and rhymed ababcc.


This is a Medieval French form written in rhyming couplets (though often arranged in quatrains) and featuring repeated lines or refrains. An example of a Kyrielle is Thomas Campion's poem, "A Lenten Hymn." These are some of the possible rhyming schemes for Kyrielle constructed in quatrains, aabB, ccbB and abaB, cbcB (uppercase letters signify the refrain). In the original French Kyrielle, lines were generallly octosyllabic. In English, the lines are generally iambic tetrameters.

Octameter in poetry is a line of eight metrical feet. It is not very common in English Verse. See example below

Trochaic: "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

Dactylic: A.C. Swinburne's poem, "March: An Ode."

Nostradamus prophetic quatrains:

The Frenchman, Michael de Nostredame (December 14, 1503 - July 2, 1566) wrote in quatrains published in his book titled "Les Prophetics" (The Prophesies). This book contains his collection of major, long-term predictions. The quatrains featured both rhymed and unrhymed verses.


This is the Japanese term for a poetry verse form (often of Chinese origin) consisting of four phrases each seven Chinese characters (kanji) in length. This is the most common form of classical Chinese poems (kanski) and the standard form of Shigin (Japanese chanted poetry).

In composing Shichigon-Zekku, the character of the phrases (Zekku) is important. The rule is as follows:

First phrase (Kiku): Depiction of the scene

Second phrase (Shoku): Add further illustration and detail to the Kiku

Third phrase (Tenku): By changing the scene of the action, reveal the true essence of the poem

Fourth phrase (Kekku): In assimilating the tenku draw together and complete the poem

The Japanese terms mean literally: bringing into being, understanding; changing and drawing together.

As can been seen, the Quatrain is the most popular stanzaic form. It must consists of four (4) lines usually in a rhyme scheme of abab or in any of the following variants:

The significance of the quatrain lies in the fact that it can be easily memorized because it contains only four lines of verse. It is intimately concerned with feelings. It‘s like a short story by which the poet can express thoughts easily.

All the stanzas in the poem, "The Westerlies" are quatrains. Click on the link below or at right to read the poem in its entirety. Your comments are appreciated greatly.

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In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride was sprung
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast
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We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
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Are now our very own
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With expectations great
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Firm craftsmen of our fate

The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With Him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate

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National Anthems of New Zealand

Anthem 1

Māori Version

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

Ōna mano tāngata
Kiri whero, kiri mā,
Iwi Māori, Pākehā,
Rūpeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngā hē
Māu e whakaahu kē,
Kia ora mārire

Tōna mana kia tū!
Tōna kaha kia ū;
Tōna rongo hei pakū
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngā whawhai
Ngā tutū e tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai

Waiho tona takiwā
Ko te ao mārama;
Kia whiti tōna rā
Taiāwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau

Tōna pai me toitū
Tika rawa, pono pū;
Tōna noho, tāna tū;
Iwi nō Ihowā.
Kaua mōna whakamā;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tū hei tauira;

English Version

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Anthem 2

God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.

Note: The second verse of 'God Save The Queen' is commonly omitted.

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