National Poetry Month 2021,  Poetry


Welcome back to the A-Z challenge! Today, I’m trying out the quatern, another French form that is totally new to me.

  1. This poem has 16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas).
  2. Each line is comprised of eight syllables.
  3. The first line is the refrain (which means it needs to be a good one). In the second stanza, the refrain appears in the second line; in the third stanza, the third line; in the fourth stanza, the fourth (and final) line.
  4. There are no rules for rhyming or iambics.


Foghorns echo in the distance,
though night is coming to an end.
I unwrap myself from your warmth
making my way to the kitchen.

Early quiet is deceptive–
foghorns echo in the distance,
and the neighborhood rooster crows.
Sounds easily lost to distraction.

But, I listen every morning
to the birds’ conversation as
foghorns echo in the distance.
I wonder what they talk about.

My coffee loses steam and I
prepare to face the day, but…
even after the sun rises
foghorns echo in the distance.

(Note: I realize I cheated a bit, syllabically, on a few of these lines.)
(Note: I love the word “syllabically.”)

I went with experience inspiration for this one. This morning started out rather foggy. Not that you’d know it at 5 in the morning, when I get up. But when I finally opened the curtains to our early light at around 6, the foghorns made sense. The fog lifted quickly though, and now…at 6:30, the foghorns have quieted. But the birds…and that fucking rooster…are still at it. My Husband has risen, showered, and left for work, and I am here, finishing up this poem, getting ready to head into my work day.

16 poems in, and I must say that starting the day with writing a poem is not a bad exercise to undertake (though it isn’t the first time I’ve gotten into this habit…see my #tinypoems). It is said that e.e. cummings wrote a poem a day, between the ages of 8 and 22.

It’s definitely a form of active meditation – forcing my brain to focus in on sensual experience, deep questions, gratitude, and the world around me. Plus, there is the added challenge of trying to fit a form, which is very puzzle-based and uses the other side of my brain.

Anyhow…I’m off to face my day.

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  • Mrs Fever

    1. I absolutely relate. The foghorns, the fog. The 5am morning.

    2. “Syllabically” IS a great word!

    3. I used to live next door to someone who kept chickens. The clucking was intermittent, but that goddamn rooster NEVER SHUT UP. 4am, 8pm, noon, midnight… It did not matter; that little fucker was *constantly* crowing. (I’m glad no one in my current neighborhood raises anything quite so horrid.
    Mrs Fever recently posted…[SNF] QueenMy Profile

    • Brigit Delaney

      Yeah…I think we may have a few roosters…we even have someone with goats. And we are seriously just a half mile from the city limits and in a close neighborhood. But it has a lot of “personality.” Nice houses next to shacks…trailers…tiny homes…it’s an odd mix.

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