Cinquain

Entertainment / Literature / Cinquain: A five-line stanza with varied meter and rhyme scheme, possibly of medieval origin but definitely influenced after 1909 by Japanese poetic forms such as the tanka. Most modern cinquains are now based on the form standardized by an American poet, Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1918), in which each unrhymed line has a fixed number of syllables--respectively two, four, six, eight, and two syllables in each line--for a rigid total of 22 syllables. Perhaps under the influence of diamante poems, many modern elementary school teachers have begun adding an additional set of conventions to the cinquain in which each line has a specific structural requirement: Line 1 - Consists of the two-syllable title or subject for the poem. Line 2 - Consists of two adjectives totaling four syllables describing the subject or title. Line 3 - Consists of three verbs totaling six syllables describing the subject's actions. Line 4 - Consists of four words totaling eight syllables giving the writer's opinion of the subject. Line 5 - Consists of one two-syllable word, often a synonym for the subject. These secondary conventions, however, are usually limited to children's poetic exercises, and the conventions are not generally followed by professional poets.

Links
Home
Glossary
Thesaurus