When I was thinking of a challenge to post in Jill’s collaborative poetry challenge, I was thinking of writing a Quatern. I love the repeating patterns in a Quatern. I think I love shadow poetry in general. But, as I was reading about Quaterns again, I came across another shadow poetry form that I have not done yet, a Retourne. I thought it will be a lovely form to try. Essentially, a Retourne is a poem that has 4 quatrains with 8 syllables on each line. The lines do not need to rhyme. In a Retourne, next three lines of the first stanza become the first line of the succeeding quatrains. As you can see, I used the second line of the first stanza to begin the first line of the second stanza. So, the third stanza should have the third line of the first stanza as the first line, and so on.
I think it’s a lovely form for a collaborative poem. I’ve just done the first stanza for you. It’s a blessing – for my daughter, who will be 16 tomorrow (gulp!)
May your heart sing like the ocean,
May the air be clear around you,
May your midnight flame burn bright,
May your feet find firm ground to stand…