This is a poem I wrote today, in a new form that I’m experimenting with. As far as I’m aware, it’s a new form – perhaps someone else has stumbled on it too, but so far I haven’t come across any other examples of it. The pattern is simple enough – a cycle of rhymes with alternating stanzas mirroring the rhyming pattern of the stanza before, and then closing with a couplet that takes the first and last rhyme of the opening stanza. I’ve called the form a “quatrina”, because it’s a little like the tritina or the sestina in terms of the cycling rhymes, though there are some obvious differences. I hope that you like reading it.
Quatrina: New Land
We haven’t learnt this path before;
It challenges with every step,
With all its new ways and its hopes
That sound like tongues to our old ears.
We haven’t learnt to bypass tears
Nor learnt to be calm on these slopes.
We must give up these fears we’ve kept
If we hope to hope for more.
Our neurons know the ancient score,
The pathways they have learnt and leapt,
And though the spirit vainly gropes,
It knows the well-worn tale of years.
But there is time to rewrite fears
And teach our stories other tropes.
There is truth in dreams we’ve wept
And longings trapped in silent stores,
For there’s new land on other shores
And promises more pure than tears.