The Quatern, or: Creativity verses form

Sangeetha & David’s new poetry project

Once upon a time, two poets who’d never met in person began writing verses back and forth over the Internet. Their first project took them some nine months: a 100 verse Hyakuin.

Once they’d completed their first oeuvre, they decided to continue their journey together; and Sangeetha came up with a fun idea. Beginning in January ’22, they took turns selecting poetic forms beginning with the letters of the alphabet (A through Z) and wrote poems to one another using those forms.

Upon completing that second project, Sangeetha suggested that they go through the alphabet once more, this time with an addition twist… In their new series, for every letter of the alphabet (A through Z), the two would select not only a poetic form but also – a keyword for each poem.

For ‘Q’, David selected the ‘Quatern’ form and the keyword ‘Quiet’.

Q: Quatern

David’s Quatern

I require quiet when I write-
That's why I'm oft up late at night;
No headphones when I'm in the groove-
Mind still; only my fingers move;

Unruffled, fantasies find flight-
I require quiet when I write;
When spoken to, I cannot think-
Eyes lose focus; high spirits sink;

The issue's most intractable-
I'm simply not adaptable;
I require quiet when I write-
Else no words come, try as I might;

It slays me, I admit, indeed-
My kryptonite; this gnawing need;
While versing's my greatest delight-
I require quiet when I write.

Sangeetha’s Quatern

Quiet is where my mind roams free
Floating into infinity
A trail of thought in silent spate
Where windswept words contemplate

In the cocoon of poetry
Quiet is where my mind roams free
To explore realms as yet unknown
Till I make that poem my own

Fresh dewdrops of ideas wake
Mulling over which shape to take
Quiet is where my mind roams free
A page where I write as just me

Ink flows to the silver sounds of mist
Hourglass sands serenade my script
Senses sync in serenity 
Quiet is where my mind roams free


  • Four quatrains (4-line stanzas);
  • Syllabic: 8 syllables per line;
  • Refrain: The first line of stanza 1 is repeated as a refrain line as the second line of stanza 2, the third line of stanza 3 and the last line of stanza 4;
  • There is no set meter or rhyme scheme ~ virtually any rhyme scheme is okay.

Sangeetha & David’s ‘Creativity verses form’

  1. The Alliterisen (#alternatives)
  2. The Bragi (#books) [1st attempt]
  3. The Bragi (#books) [correct]
  4. The Cadae (#crisis)
  5. The Dodoitsu (#desire)
  6. The Emmett (#elves)
  7. The Fold (#friend)
  8. The Golda (#gravity)
  9. The Harrisham (#hope)
  10. The Inverted Refrain (#imagination)
  11. The Jram (#jubilee)
  12. The Kลel (#kismet)
  13. The Lai (#love)
  14. The Monometric (#motivation)
  15. The Nove Otto (#night)
  16. The Ovillejo (#origins)
  17. The Purely Hopeful (#poetry)
  18. The Quatern (#quiet)
  19. The Raay (#roots)
  20. The Septanelle (#smiles)
  21. The Trianglet (#time)
  22. The Ukiah (#underwear)
  23. The Violette (#vintage)
  24. The Whyquain (#wisdom)
  25. X (wildcard): The Eight-ette (#excuse)
  26. The Ya Hoo (#yes)
  27. The Zip (#zip)

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

49 thoughts on “The Quatern, or: Creativity verses form”

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