Monday, November 07, 2011

ABC Wednesday
November 9th, 2011

Q is the favoured letter this week

I have always been fond of words that begin with Q.  Quicken, quiver, quaver, quintessence, quiet, quail, quest. quip, quietism, quicksilver - they all have a rather old fashioned romanticism to my ear.

And then there is Quatorzain, a poetic term used in English literature, as opposed to 'sonnet' for a poem in fourteen rhymed iambic lines.

The difference being, the Quatorzain ends in a couplet, as a sonnet never does.  Almost all the 'sonnets' of the Elizabethan period, including those of Shakespeare, Sidney and Spenser, are really Quatorzains, consisting of three quatrains of alternate rhyme, and the whole closing with a couplet.

This book will tell you all about the differences in the two forms!

Here is a perfect example of a Quatorzain, published by Michael Drayton in 1602.

Dear, why should you commend me to my rest,
When now the night doth summon all to sleep?

Methinks this time becometh lovers best;
Night was ordained together friends to keep.

How happy are all other living things
Which through the day conjoin by several flight,
The quiet evening yet together brings,
And each returns unto his love at night,
O thou that art so courteous unto all
Why should'st thou, Night, abuse me only thus,
That every creature to his kind dost call,
And yet 'tis thou dost only sever us?

Well could I wish it would be ever day,
If, when night comes, you bid me go away.

This small bit of information about the forms of sonnets and quatorzains may not be something you have been aching to know, but please do enjoy the poem, and the poet's lament at being separated from his loved one when night falls.

For more interesting interpretations of the letter Q visit here at ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her Quaint helpers.


mrsnesbitt said...

What I LOVE about ABC Wednesday is the wealth of knowledge participants have - and share. Great post, thanks so much.
ABC Team

VioletSky said...

WhenI was younger, I used to wish I had a name that began with a Q just so I could write that letter every time with my signature.

MERYL JAFFE, PhD - parent, psychologist, teacher, author... said...

Wow. My thoughts mirror Denise's. These visits between posts are so wonderfully entertaining, thoughtful, though-provoking... and fun!

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Glad you included an example of-(see if I can spell it correctly without looking) quartrozain. What a doozy of a word!

Kay L. Davies said...

This is VERY interesting, Hildred. I have just been invited to join an online writers' group and there are many different poetic forms offered as challenges. I've saved this information in case I'm ever called upon to post a challenge.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderful! So glad you shared this. I'd never heard the word, enjoyed the poetry and am inclined to read more!

Leslie: said...

I really enjoyed this! I've never been much into poetry, but as I'm tutoring grade 12s this year, I have to be aware of and up on the poetry they're studying and I'm now finding it quite intriguing. Maybe it takes a bit of maturity to "get it."

abcw team

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I learn something from you today.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for this informative post! I do not know much about poetry apart from what I learned at school long ago.
Thanks for your comment.Tomorrow I'll give the answers to the quiz questions.

Carver said...

Very interesting post for Q day. I enjoyed it.

Unknown said...

You took me back to college days and poetry class with Sister Jeremy -- thank you! I still have the text we used!
ABC Team

Chubskulit Rose said...

Very clever choice for Q.

Find out what Quiet is for my kids.

jabblog said...

Q words are very special and your illustration is most apt.