Invented Poetry Forms – The Monotetra

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The poetry form that I would like to introduce you to today is the monotetra, invented by poet Michael Walker apparently sometime in the early 2000’s. The monotetra consists of one or more quatrains (stanzas of 4 lines) with each line written in tetrameter (4 feet or 8 syllables). Each stanza follows a monorhyme (all the lines rhyme together), thus the rhyme scheme for the first stanza would be depicted as aaaa, the second (if there is one) as bbbb, the third as cccc, and so on. What makes the form totally unique and really stand out is that the first four syllables of the final line of each quatrain is repeated as its last four. Or in other words, a four syllable phrase is repeated twice as the last line of each stanza.

For my personal taste, the monotetra, with its monorhyme and repeated phrases, is better suited for light verse than a serious poem. These qualities definitely make it both a delight to write and read out loud. I also prefer the single quatrain versions to the longer ones. But that might be just me, since most of the examples of monotetra I found on the internet are at least two stanzas. I recommend that you might try writing one of each variation to discover which best fits your taste. To that end, here is one that I wrote to serve as a model (I hope you enjoy it!):

Nude Ascending a Staircase

All the men could not help but stare.
She wore her birthday suit with flair.
As she climbed, she paused to declare
“No clothes to wear, no clothes to wear!”

4 thoughts on “Invented Poetry Forms – The Monotetra

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