Poetry: Carpentry of the Quatrain | clivejames.com
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Carpentry of the Quatrain

A four-square stanza is the magic box
Neat thoughts fit into and combine their glow
Into a furnace. Lucky the lid locks,
Or we’d see ashes fluttering like snow.

Given the chance I’d work no other way,
But there are ideas that refuse to fit,
The thought that needs more space to have its say
No matter how severe you are with it.

But even then, the best way to contain
The sprawl is to remember, flying blind,
Your ideal of the right cup for the rain.
With nothing spilled and everything designed,

Wish and fulfilment click, the whirlpool swirls
And freezes, and it’s there before your eyes:
The cubic lattice of selected pearls
Stacked rim to rim, the orderly surprise.