Ben Douglass is an old grumpy white guy who writes poems, novels, reviews, essays, and short fictions, for his own amusement and the amusement of others.
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The Quatrain Poem
In the last several months I have been experimenting with the "quatrain" - a poetic form that goes back to Rumi (and before). More specifically, I have been writing poems using the Shairi or Rustavelian quatrain.
For those that may need a review of the quatrain form, it is a stanza in a poem that has exactly four lines. Some quatrains comprise entire poems (Rumi), while others are part of a larger structure. Quatrains usually use some form of rhyme scheme, especially the following forms: AAAA, AABB, ABAB, and ABBA. Lines in a quatrain can be any length and with any meter, but there is usually a regular rhythm to the lines as well.
Now more specifically, a Shairi or Rustavelian quatrain has a rhyme scheme of AAAA, also known as monorhymed. It comes from the country of Georgia, and has four lines of sixteen syllables each. The name Rustavelian comes from the Georgian poet Shota Rustavelli. In the 12th century he published his greatest work, The Knight in the Panther Skin. The best translation is by Lyn Coffin. This book of quatrains is listed as one of the great master works of world literature. Rustavelli is often called the Georgian Shakespeare. This work tells the story of medieval romance of chivalry.
When I think my own quatrains are complete and polish for public reading I will publish them, but not before. I will not put a time limit on the publication of my quatrains.
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